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Muscle Health and Plant-based Protein

Plant-based protein supports excellent musculoskeletal function.

Traditional thinking held animal protein was necessary to maintain musculoskeletal health. Almost 3000 men and women with a mean age of 40 were studied to determine if this was correct. Researchers compared 6 dietary patterns, in one of which the protein came primarily from plant foods. All protein clusters provided recommended amounts of protein. It was found that the plant proteins were equal to those with the animal protein.

PositiveTip: As long as adequate amounts of protein are consumed, plant protein supports muscle health just fine.

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Soy May Lower Blood Pressure

A relatively small intake of soy protein may help reduce systolic blood pressure.

Individuals who consumed the most soy protein per day had lower systolic blood pressures than those who ate the least amounts, according to a new study. The top group consumed more than 2.5 mg per day of soy isoflavones. One cup of soy milk contains 22 mg of isoflavones, suggesting that soy consumption does not have to be very high to result in lower pressures. These isoflavones may increase production of nitric oxide which widens blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.

PositiveTip: Struggling with high blood pressure? Try including some soy in your diet.

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It's the Calories, not the Protein

If you eat too much, your body will pack on the fat no matter how much protein.

Weight-stable patients living in an inpatient clinic for 10-12 weeks who overate by 954 kcal per day on low-protein diets, gained less weight than those who ate the same amount on normal- or high-protein diets. But they all gained a similar amount of fat. The protein level of the diet did not affect the amount of fat each patient stored.

PositiveTip: Avoid eating excess calories: they will increase the fat you store no matter how much protein you eat.