Americans are obsessed with protein. It’s touted as the cornerstone of any healthy diet, since it helps people feel full and builds muscle. But most Americans eat too much protein every day, according to federal estimates—and they’re going especially overboard with animal proteins, namely red meat.
It’s becoming clear how big a problem excessive red-meat consumption can be for health. Research has found associations between diets heavy in red and processed meats and many chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Red meat comes with high amounts of saturated fat, and processed forms, like bacon and sausage, often contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer. But protein found in plants is linked to the opposite: lower rates of many of the same diseases and longer lives, thanks to the fiber, healthy fats and micronutrients that come with it.
Excerpted from Time