Lifespan and metabolic health are influenced by dietary nutrients. Recent studies show that a reduced protein intake or low-protein/high-carbohydrate diet plays a critical role in longevity/metabolic health. Additionally, specific amino acids (AAs), including methionine or branched-chain AAs, are associated with the regulation of lifespan/ageing and metabolism through multiple mechanisms.  Therefore, methionine restriction may lead to the benefits of longevity/metabolic health.
During 16 years of follow-up, a pattern emerged where plant protein intake appeared to reduce the risk of early death. Every 10 grams of plant-for-animal protein swapping per 1,000 calories resulted in a 12% lower risk of death for men and 14% for women, the findings showed.
According to senior researcher Dr Demetrius Albanes, a senior investigator with the cancer institute, "Our data provide evidence to support the favorable role for plant-based diets in the prevention of cardiovascular disease mortality, and that modifications in choices of protein sources may influence health outcomes and longevity."
There are many reasons why choosing plant protein over animal protein could help extend your life, the researchers and experts said.
For example, one ounce of red meat mixed with whole wheat pasta and veggies would provide much less saturated fat than a 9-ounce steak. On the other hand, plant proteins come with loads of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Protein can be found in red meat, pork, chicken, seafood, and eggs. But it can also be found in plant foods such as peanuts, chia seeds, tofu, broccoli, and oats. The researchers wanted to know if eating animal versus plant-based protein made a difference in longevity. To find out, they accessed data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, which has been compiling diet and health information on people age 50 to 71 over the past 16 years. In the database, there is information on 179,068 women and 237,036 men from several states and two major cities, Detroit and Atlanta. The median age of the people when they entered the database was 62. The database contains dietary information for each of the people it lists, which allowed the researchers to measure how much protein they were eating and whether it was plant or animal-based.
The researchers found that those people, male or female, who consumed more than average amounts of plant-based protein, had a 5% lower than average mortality rate. They also found that the more plant-based proteins a person ate, the longer they tended to live. And they found that those who swapped just 3% of the animal-based protein in their diets for plant-based proteins, saw a 10% reduction in mortality risk.
The researchers also found that swapping animal-based protein for plant-based protein foods led to reductions in cardiovascular disease. Switching just 3% of such proteins resulted in an 11% reduction in cardiovascular-disease related deaths in men and 12% in women.
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