Let me present some facts to help you decide on the diet that works best for your lifestyle.
Most of North America and Europe obtain their protein requirements from meat, seafood, and dairy products. On the other hand, there are vast sections of the global populace living in Asia, Africa, and Latin America whose primary source of protein is plant-based.
As awareness of the health benefits of plant-based food rises, people have started to turn increasingly curious about the various protein sources. Even the traditional animal protein-consuming parts of the world are looking at this protein version as an option.
A study done by Innova Market Insights 2014 saw a 14.7% growth in demand for plant-based protein, while the need for animal protein grew only by 7.5%. Such trends are being driven by people’s concerns about obesity and the associated lifestyle diseases it brings.
According to Mintel, today, the meat substitutes market is led by tofu and tofu ingredients-based products, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, soy, wheat, and mycoprotein. The tofu and tofu ingredients segment accounted for the largest share of the meat substitutes market in 2017.
It is estimated that about 2 billion people live primarily on a meat-based diet worldwide, while 4 billion focus on a plant-based diet.
While there is increasing scientific support for moving towards a plant-based diet, the shift has certain downsides. For non-vegetarians, reducing intake of meat while increasing intake of legumes, whole grains, and the likes tend to result in iron and zinc deficiency.
And, although vegetarians have lower iron stores because of low quantities of it in their diets, adverse health effects of lower iron and zinc absorption have not been demonstrated in this group of people (Hunt, 2002). In fact, in some cases, a shift to a plant-based diet helped reduce recurrent prostate cancer (Saxe et al., 2006).
Replacing animal protein with plant protein will likely reduce mortality rates, lower cholesterol levels, and higher health benefits.
A vegan diet is also deficient in Vitamin B12. Supplements can prevent its deficiency.
My research tells me that a plant-based diet, in general, is healthier.