Believe it or not, there are no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better obtained by plant-based foods.
By Steven Smith
Protein. Besides the fact that we don't need nearly as much protein as the hype tells us, there is plenty of protein in plant foods! When you eat spinach, half of its calories are from protein. Consuming other legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds provides more than sufficient protein intake. Animal foods may get you your protein, but they're also associated with tumor growth and the onset of many diseases - cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease.
Cholesterol? Can't find it in plant foods. It's only found in animal-based foods and a non-essential nutrient that contributes to atherosclerosis, the clogging of the arteries. Cholesterol and animal proteins create a very acidic environment in the body - we want to remain more on the alkalinic/neutral side (cancer cannot form in an alkalinic environment!) - and can lead to osteoporosis (when our body
leaches calcium from our bones to fight the acidity), Alzheimer's, stroke, in addition to the diseases I mentioned before.
Carbohydrates, derived from plant foods, are responsible for giving our bodies energy and important in the digesting/metabolizing process, as well as other important functions. Animal foods contain no complex carbs, which lend to better health by managing the rate we absorb simple carbs, while plant foods are full of them! Fiber, an important complex carb for digestion and removing unwanted toxins/substances from the body, can only be found in plants!
One of the most important differences is antioxidants! Plant-based foods also contain a rich supply of antioxidants, which supports anti-aging and the ridding of cancer-causing free radicals. You can find them in vitamins and minerals found in plant foods. They'll keep you healthy, looking good, and feeling great! The consumption of vitamins and minerals also show inverse relationships with the
prevalenceof cancer and perform important functions, like fluid balance, promoting good bone structure and blood function, and controlling enzyme reactions in the body.
When it comes to fats, there are some we want to consume and others we want to stay away from. Saturated fats, solid fats at room temperature, are found almost exclusively in animal foods (with rare exceptions, like coconut oil) and are hydrogenated fatty acids. They raise cholesterol levels and usually end up stored as fat cells in our body instead of metabolizing as energy. Unsaturated fats are
liquid at room temperature and usually present in plant-based foods.These fats are better for our health, and, when consumed properly, metabolize into energy for the body.
A plant-based diet and a vegan diet are very similar, but not quite the same, like squares and rectangles. All squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. A vegan diet is one that abstains from ANY animal product. However, it could consist of simple carb, nutrient-devoid foods such as french fries, white bread, and Twinkies. These fatty and processed foods are not animal-derived, but also do not stem from healthy, whole plant-based sources. A plant-based diet centers around unprocessed, whole foods that contain the healthiest form of nutrients, vitamins,
minerals, etc. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes.
So, basically, you can find some nutrients in both animal- and plant-based foods, but the animal-based foods bring along an abundance of negatives - nutrients, like cholesterol, and negative health factors, like cancer growth and heart disease. Plant-based foods can give you each and every one of those nutrients, plus a handful more (antioxidants, fiber, etc.) that promote good health and prevent disease.