Plant Protein vs Animal Protein: Difference and Comparison

Protein is a necessary component of a balanced diet. It aids in constructing, repairing, and maintaining the body’s structures. Protein may be found in both plant and animal-based foods, but there are notable distinctions. 

Protein may be found in all parts of the body, from the muscles and organs to the bones, skin, and hair. Protein is not stored in the body like other macronutrients. Thus, it must be obtained from the food. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Plant proteins are derived from plant-based sources, while animal proteins are derived from animal-based sources.
  2. Plant proteins are lower in calories, fats, and cholesterol than animal proteins, which can be high in saturated fats and calories.
  3. Plant proteins are more environmentally sustainable, while animal proteins can be more nutrient-dense and offer essential vitamins and minerals.

Plant Protein vs Animal Protein 

Plant protein is found in various plant-based foods, such as beans, lentils, seeds, and grains. Unlike animal protein, plant protein is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and is also a good source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Plant-based proteins are considered incomplete proteins.

Plant Protein vs Animal Protein

Plant protein is simply a dietary protein source generated from plants. This includes pulses, tofu, soy, tempeh, seitan, almonds, seeds, various cereals, and even peas.

The legume family includes chickpeas, lentils, beans (such as black, kidney, and adzuki beans), and split peas.  Plant proteins are nutrient-dense.

Animal proteins like meat, eggs, and milk are complete proteins, meaning they include all the important amino acids our bodies require. Animal products are the best sources of high-quality protein.

On the other hand, red meat intake has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and early mortality in various studies. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Plant Protein Animal Protein 
Another name  Plant protein is also known as incomplete protein. Animal Protein is known as complete proteins. 
Quality Plant protein does not contain all the essential proteins. Animal Protein contains all the essential proteins.  
Category  Plant proteins are mostly consumed by the vegetarian group of the population. Animal proteins are mostly consumed by the non-vegetarian group of the population.  
Nutrient Content Plant protein lacks some nutrients which are present in animal proteins. Animal Proteins contain many certain nutrients which are absent in plant proteins. 
Consequences Plant proteins are totally safe for all types of consumption. Some Animal proteins can cause diseases on the consumptions such are red meat or processed animal proteins 

What is Plant Protein? 

Plant protein is simply a useful source of protein derived from plants as a diet. Pulses, tofu, soy, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, some cereals, and even peas fall into this category.

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Chickpeas, lentils, beans (such as black, kidney, and adzuki beans), and split peas are all part of the legume family. Plant protein is also known as incomplete protein. The vegetarian group of the population mostly consumes plant proteins. 

Plant proteins are nutrient-dense, not just because they are high in protein but also because they include additional nutrients, including fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Our fibre consumption is inadequate, but by including plant proteins such as pulses, peas, and almonds in your diet, you may easily increase your fibre intake.

Quinoa, for example, is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids we require. Others are deficient in certain amino acids, thus, eating a range of meals is necessary to obtain all 9. 

It’s possible that the type of protein you consume is more significant than the quantity. Plant-based protein is high in minerals, fibre, and antioxidants, all of which are beneficial to your general health.  

Protection against cardiovascular disease. According to a study of eight research, those who ate a vegan or vegetarian diet had a 30% lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease than those who ate meat. 

plant protein

What is Animal Protein? 

Complete proteins, such as those found in meat, eggs, and milk, include all of the essential amino acids our systems require. The best sources of high-quality protein are animal products. 

Red meat consumption, on the other hand, has been linked to an elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, and early mortality in several studies.

Animal protein offers certain health advantages as well. Instead of red meat, people who ate low-fat forms of animal protein, including chicken and fish, had a: 

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 Type 2 diabetes risk is reduced. 

Heart disease risk is reduced. 

Colorectal, stomach, pancreatic, and prostate cancer risk is reduced. 

Weight management that is more effective 

Animal Protein’s Dangers 

Eating unprocessed and processed red meat has been related to a shortened lifespan in a study of over 100,000 participants.

Adding one dish of unprocessed red meat to your daily diet raises your risk of mortality by 13%. Adding one more dish of processed red meat to your diet increases your mortality chance by 20%. 

animal protin

 Main Differences Between Plant Protein and Animal Protein 

  1. The difference between plant protein and animal protein is based on the composition of proteins inside them. The required amount of protein by the body is found in animal proteins, whereas plant protein does not contain all the essential proteins. 
  2. Plant protein is also known as incomplete protein, whereas Animal Protein is known as a complete protein. 
  3. The vegetarian group of the population mostly consumes plant proteins, whereas the non-vegetarian group of the population mostly consumes Animal proteins. 
  4. Plant proteins lack some nutrients present in animal proteins, whereas Animal Proteins contain many certain nutrients that are absent in plant proteins. 
  5. Plant proteins are totally safe for all types of consumption, whereas Some Animal proteins can cause diseases during consumption, such are red meat or processed animal proteins. 
Difference Between Plant Protein and Animal Protein

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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14 thoughts on “Plant Protein vs Animal Protein: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The content is well-researched and presents compelling arguments on plant and animal proteins. It encourages readers to critically evaluate their dietary choices for optimal health outcomes.

  2. It’s fascinating how plant and animal proteins offer diverse nutritional benefits. A balanced approach to including both in a diet can lead to a well-rounded nutrient intake.

    • The comparative analysis demonstrates the distinct advantages of both protein sources, emphasizing the importance of variety and moderation for overall health.

    • Indeed, combining plant and animal proteins can provide a wide range of essential nutrients and contribute to a balanced and sustainable dietary pattern.

  3. The article provides an insightful examination of plant and animal proteins, highlighting the need for informed choices in dietary preferences to support individual health and environmental sustainability.

    • Absolutely, the comprehensive review promotes awareness of the nutritional aspects and impacts related to plant and animal proteins, fostering a balanced understanding for making dietary decisions.

    • I agree, the article should add more scientific information to create a fair comparison and avoid misleading people with biased opinions.

    • It seems to be a bit skewed towards plant proteins, ignoring the health benefits of animal proteins. They should emphasize a more balanced perspective.

  4. The article is informative on the differences between plant and animal proteins, but it leaves out details about the environmental impact of animal proteins, which is an important aspect to consider.

    • Focusing solely on nutrient content without considering environmental sustainability can give a narrow view. It should cover all aspects for a comprehensive approach.

    • I completely agree! The environmental impact is crucial in making dietary choices, and the article should include relevant information about animal proteins’ effects.

  5. This article provides a thorough comparison between plant and animal proteins. It’s essential to understand the distinct nutritional benefits and potential health risks associated with each source.

    • Absolutely, the detailed analysis helps individuals make informed decisions about their dietary preferences and health considerations.


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