Research confirms red meat nutritional advantage over alternative


The Cattle Site

01 August 2022


Red meat proteins were better absorbed by the body


Results from ground-breaking New Zealand research have shown red meat is a better source of protein than a processed plant-based alternative, according to a press release from the University of Aukland.


Findings from a human clinical trial undertaken for the Pasture Raised Advantage research programme found that meat delivers more of the essential protein building blocks compared to a plant-based alternative.


The four-stage multidisciplinary project is exploring the health and wellbeing benefits of eating pasture-raised beef and lamb as part of a balanced diet, compared to grain-finished beef or a plant-based alternative. The research is a collaboration between researchers at AgResearch, the University of Auckland, Massey University and the Riddet Institute.


In this first of two clinical trials, thirty participants aged 20-34 years were fed breakfast on four different days and their blood, digestive symptoms and mood were monitored for four hours immediately following the meal. Breakfast was a burrito that contained a single serving of a different protein each day; pasture-raised beef, grain-finished beef, lamb and a plant-based alternative - served in random order to each participant across the four days.


Andrea Braakhuis from the University of Auckland heads up the team of nutrition scientists responsible for the study.


“We measured the nutrients in the blood of the participants and saw a significant difference in the type and amounts of amino acids that come from the digestion of the protein of red meat compared to the protein of the processed meat alternative,” said Braakhuis.


“Amino acids from red meat were of greater biological value and better absorbed by the body.”


Braakhuis said these clinical outcomes reflect the results of laboratory experiments carried out on the same foods by Massey University (led by Lovedeep Kaur). Red meat was better digested in the laboratory simulator conditions than the plant-based alternative...


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