Plant Protein Animal Protein Dr Matthew Nagra

Protein truths with Dr Matthew Nagra

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In Episode #133 I sit down with Matthew Nagra, ND to tackle the almighty protein topic! You know, the nutrient we are all fascinated by.

What is protein? How much do we need? What’s the difference between animal and plant protein? The best types of protein for good health? How do we optimise protein intake for promoting lean muscle and strength?

We cover all of this and more – all through an evidence-based lens. Not what random folks are saying at the gym or online in the comments section. But what the highest quality science says.

Specifically we cover:

  • What protein is
  • How much protein we need
  • How much protein the average omnivore and vegetarian/vegan consumes
  • Incomplete versus complete protein – how people are incorrectly using these terms
  • Protein quality – how scoring systems work
  • The difference between animal and plant protein when it comes to quality – and what this means for your food selection
  • Animal versus plant protein and health outcomes
  • Is soy protein safe? (e.g tempeh, tofu and soy milk)
  • Best protein swaps you could consider making today
  • Animal versus plant protein and performance outcomes (e.g lean muscle and strength)
  • Optimising protein intake for performance
  • Take home messages


  • Current Protein Intake

Protein intake trends and conformity with the Dietary Reference Intakes in the United States: analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2014

  • Protein Intake in Western living Vegetarian and Vegans

Nutrient Profiles of Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian Dietary Patterns

  • Christopher Gardner’s 2019 paper on protein

Maximizing the intersection of human health and the health of the environment with regard to the amount and type of protein produced and consumed in the United States

  • Plant’s contain all amino acids

Dietary Protein and Amino Acids in Vegetarian Diets—A Review
Maximizing the intersection of human health and the health of the environment with regard to the amount and type of protein produced and consumed in the United States

  • Joel Craddock’s paper on scoring systems used to calculate protein quality

Limitations with the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS) with Special Attention to Plant-Based Diets: a Review

  • Animal versus plant protein and health outcomes (risk of cardiovascular disease, mortality etc)

Association Between Plant and Animal Protein Intake and Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality
Dietary intake of total, animal, and plant proteins and risk of all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies
Protein foods from animal sources, incident cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: a substitution analysis

  • Soy protein and health outcomes

Neither soy nor isoflavone intake affects male reproductive hormones: An expanded and updated meta-analysis of clinical studies
Soy and Isoflavone Consumption and Multiple Health Outcomes: Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of Observational Studies and Randomized Trials in Humans

  • Protein source and performance outcomes

The Effects of Whey vs. Pea Protein on Physical Adaptations Following 8-Weeks of High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT): A Pilot Study
High-Protein Plant-Based Diet Versus a Protein-Matched Omnivorous Diet to Support Resistance Training Adaptations: A Comparison Between Habitual Vegans and Omnivores
No Difference Between the Effects of Supplementing With Soy Protein Versus Animal Protein on Gains in Muscle Mass and Strength in Response to Resistance Exercise

  • Plant-based meat alternatives

Dr Nagra’s recent article on My Nutrition Science
The SWAP-MEAT trial (Conducted by Christopher Gardner and his team at Stanford University)


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