But despite all this, a new study suggests we can snack on a sanga totally guilt-free… Reason being? The protein in certain plant-based foods (including pasta and bread) has been linked to a lower risk of dying.
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Researchers looked at data from 416,104 men and women over a 16-year period. On average, 15 per cent of the participant’s daily energy intake came from protein sources, with 40 per cent of this derived from plants and 60 per from animals (think meat and dairy.)
They found that plant protein, in particular, resulted in a lower mortality rate from all causes – and especially cardiovascular disease.
Simply swapping eggs for foods containing plant protein lead to a 24 per cent lower risk of death in men and 21 per cent in women. And when meat was subbed out, this risk dropped to 13 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
Worth noting: the researchers took into account different lifestyle choices that could affect participants’ health, such as smoking, diabetes, fruit consumption and vitamin supplement use.
The team behind the study say the findings prove just how huge a role diet plays in our health and overall lifespan.