Proteins from plant-based sources are defined as grains, plant tubers, starches, legumes, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, nuts, and seeds, while animal proteins are included as meat, poultry, milk, eggs, and aquatic products.
According to the findings, two-thirds of the participants’ dietary protein intake came from plant sources.
What’s more, the study found that higher levels of total dietary protein intake and plant-based protein intake were positively associated with higher muscle mass. Meanwhile, the association between animal protein and muscle mass was negligible.
In the group of participants with the highest total protein intake, men gained 0.96 kg of muscle mass and women gained 0.48 kg.
Likewise, in the group of participants with the highest intake of plant-based protein, men gained 0.76 kg of muscle mass and women gained 0.35 kg.
Furthermore, the study suggests that dietary protein intakes of more than 78 grams of protein per day (g/d) for men and 68 g/d for women may be ideal for preventing low muscle mass in older adults.
“The traditional Chinese diet is characterized by high amounts of grains and vegetables. Therefore, plant protein intake contributes more to total protein intake than animal protein intake. Although animal protein is widely considered to contain more nutritional properties than plant protein , but the antioxidants and vitamins in vegetables and fruits can enhance the absorption of plant protein. It is also possible that eating more plant protein can achieve the same anabolic (muscle building) response as a small amount of animal protein.”