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Plant Protein Equal to Meat for Building Muscle

New research shows meat is not superior to plant-based sources of protein.

A study published last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dietary protein derived from plant sources is no different than that from meat sources. From 2002 to 2005, researchers from the Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research and University of Massachusetts Lowell observed the muscle mass, strength, and bone density of 3,000 participants with varied dietary habits in the 17 to 72 age range. They found that while higher protein intake led to better overall musculoskeletal health, the source of dietary protein—plant or animal—was irrelevant. “We know that dietary protein can improve muscle mass and strength,” lead researcher Dr. Kelsey M. Mangano said. “However, until now, we did not know if one protein food source was better than another in accomplishing optimal results.” Professional bodybuilders and weightlifters such as Barny Du Plessis, Patrik Baboumian, Hulda B. Waage, amongst many others, are living proof of Mangano’s findings.

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