Guide to Plant-Based Protein
What does “plant-based” mean?
Plant-based eating involves eating foods that are primarily sourced from plants. Generally, plant-based products use ingredients from fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and seeds. Adopting and adhering to a plant-based lifestyle can make way for endless health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Plant-based vs. vegan
Vegan diets eliminate all animal-based foods, including meat/poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs. Vegans also do not purchase or wear clothing made from animal products, such as leather, or health and beauty products tested on animals. They also do not consume food products that are in any way derived from animals, such as honey.
Plant-based diets typically allow more flexibility. Those who choose a plant-based diet do not consume dairy or meat, but they may allow themselves to consume other products derived from animals. However, many people with plant-based eating patterns still choose to avoid products connected to animal cruelty if they are able.
Plant-based vs. vegetarian
Those who adhere to a vegetarian diet exclude meat and seafood but often still consume dairy and eggs. As mentioned, plant-based diets reduce or eliminate meat and dairy products. Vegetarian diets are closely related to plant-based diets, rather than stricter vegan diets.
Vegetarian & plant-based vs. flexitarian
Those who eat a flexitarian diet allow themselves more flexibility in their food choices, while more than often adopt plant-based or vegetarian choices day-to-day. Flexitarian individuals make a conscious choice to limit their meat and dairy intake.
What is plant-based protein?
Plant-based proteins are those sourced entirely from plants. Nuts, beans, seeds, and legumes have the highest plant-based protein content. Still, vegetables such as broccoli, potatoes, kale, and mushrooms contain small amounts of protein. Plant protein can be consumed by eating vegetables, although many prefer to incorporate products that mimic meat and dairy. For example, soy milk, veggie burgers, and tofu are all made with plant-based protein.
Pea protein in particular is one of the most nutritious plant-based protein options, containing all the essential amino acids. PURIS manufactures pea protein isolates made from non-GMO yellow field peas and nothing else, making it a great option for those looking to add more protein to their diet while adhering to a vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, or flexitarian diet.
How much protein do you need?
According to Harvard, the average adult needs to consume approximately 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. This means the average person requires between 50-70 grams of protein daily. Still, it isn't just the amount of protein that should be considered – one must consume all nine essential amino acids needed for the body to build proteins. Of the 21 amino acids, the nine essential amino acids are those the body cannot synthesize on its own, and therefore must be consumed in the diet. Each amino acid is needed in different amounts by the body, and the amino acid present in the lowest amounts relative to its requirement is known as the “limiting amino acid.” Foods containing all nine essential amino acids in the appropriate ratios are known as “complete proteins.”
Peas are a plant-based protein source that contain all nine essential amino acids, limiting in tryptophan and methionine. PURIS Protein ingredients have a protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of 0.83. This means pea protein can be a complete source of protein if consumed in a large enough serving size. For example, consuming 24 grams of PURIS Pea Protein provides 20 grams of complete protein. Another option is to pair pea protein with whole grains such as rice, wheat, and oats to complement its amino acid profile.
Plant-based pros and cons
Plant-Based Diet Pros
- They tend to be higher in fiber and lower in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol compared to diets that are high in animal products.
- They are not associated with animal cruelty or other animal-related ethical issues.
- Plant proteins are typically better for the environment from a manufacturing standpoint. According to the World Resources Institute, beef, lamb, and goat produce roughly ten times the emissions of beans, chickpeas, and lentils.
- Plant-based diets are associated with lower blood pressure, serum cholesterol, risk of heart attack or stroke, and fasting glucose.
- According to the National Institutes of Health, plant-based diets may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes when paired with lifestyle intervention.
- Numerous plant-based meats simulate animal-based products and are getting better with technology advancements, meaning you aren't likely to miss the taste and experience of meat or dairy.
Plant-Based Diet Cons
- Plant-based proteins need to be a part of a varied, whole food diet in order to have all the essential amino acids. Just as an omnivore would not consume all of their protein from eggs or steak alone, a plant-based eater should not rely on a sole source of plant protein for all their amino acids.
- Plant-based options can be harder to come by when eating at restaurants, but they are becoming more common as restaurants constantly evolve and adapt.
Why choose plant-based protein?
Plant-based protein is associated with numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. They also promote diversity in the gut microbiome, which is increasingly associated with improved brain health. Thanks to the wide range of plant-based meats, you don't have to give up burgers and other meats you love. In many cases, incorporating plant-based proteins lets you explore new ways of cooking a nd recipes you may not have tried otherwise.
Plant-based consumers must carefully plan to ensure they consume enough of the micronutrients typically found in animal products: Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, and zinc.
What are some examples of quality plant-based protein?
Plant-Based Protein Milk
Plant-based protein milk is an ideal way to reduce dependence on animal-based products. It is excellent for those with lactose intolerance, although those who can consume lactose may still prefer plant-based milk. Many people find plant-based protein milk to have a richer flavor than cow’s milk. Additionally, no antibiotics are used in plant-based protein milk production as may be needed in dairy operations.
PURIS uses pea protein in its plant-based milk formulation. Pea protein is an ideal alternative to soy protein as many of the soybeans planted in the United States are genetically modified. According to the Food and Drug Administration, roughly 94% of the soybeans grown in 2018 were genetically modified. It is also important to note that soybeans have been listed as a top 9 allergen.
Plant-Based Protein Powder
Plant-based protein powder may have the same protein content as whey protein powder. Still, many prefer it since it does not contain lactose as is commonly found in trace amounts in whey. Pea protein is ideal for those seeking to use plant-based protein powder, as it has all of the essential amino acids your body cannot produce on its own. Additionally, pea protein is highly digestible compared to other plant protein powders.
Plant protein powder contains plenty of iron and is more environmentally friendly than whey protein. Consuming pea protein powder alongside a source of Vitamin C, such as in a fruit smoothie, can help increase iron bioavailability, ensuring you make the most of your protein drink.
PURIS Pea Protein Powder is keto- and vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and available in organic. It is sourced from yellow field peas and is free from the top 9 allergens as well as glyphosate, an herbicide that has been associated with negative environmental impacts.
Plant-based meats are an excellent way to reduce your meat intake as many of them are indistinguishable from the real thing. In many cases, plant-based meat contains more protein than actual meat and is just as versatile. For example, PURIS' prototype plant-based chicken is made using high moisture extrusion (HME) and includes 25% more protein than conventional chicken. Just like chicken, this plant-based meat can be served breaded, shredded, or as nuggets and patties. HME transforms plant protein powders into a texture that mimics animal muscle fibers using heat and friction, not chemicals. This process creates an authentic, meat-like texture as well as neutral taste and color.
Plant-based burgers are one of the most commonly-consumed meat alternatives — they contain plenty of protein and aren't associated with cardiovascular issues like traditional burgers. Many fast-food restaurants have recently cashed in on the meatless burger craze, with places like Burger King adding plant-based burgers to its menu. Still, these plant-based alternatives contain roughly 50% more sodium than PURIS’ prototype low sodium plant-based burgers.
Plant-Based Dairy Products
Plant-based milk doesn’t have to be your only option for a great tasting, plant-based dairy product — there are numerous alternatives to dairy products available such as vegan cream cheese and yogurt. Dairy-free yogurt often has the same, if not higher, protein content as yogurt made from dairy and tastes just as good. PURIS’ dairy-free yogurt is made with vegan probiotic cultures, which are just as beneficial for your gut health as dairy-based yogurt. Not to mention, PURIS’ short list of ingredients doesn’t include unnecessary additives.
Dairy-free cream cheese often has the same flavor and texture as traditional cream cheese. Traditional cream cheese usually has a higher calorie count than vegan cream cheese. PURIS’ prototype non-dairy cream cheese is non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free. Additionally, it doesn't contain any of the top 9 allergens, making it an ideal cream cheese replacement for everyone.
Why is protein important?
Proteins are a vital part of human life, as they play a number of roles in our bodies: building and repairing tissues, maintaining homeostasis, and supporting bodily functions such as immunity and hormone regulation. Overall, there are 21 amino acids your body uses to perform these functions. The human body produces 12 amino acids, but the other nine must be consumed in the diet from protein-rich foods. Pea protein is one of the few plant-based sources that contain all nine essential amino acids your body can't produce naturally.
Is plant protein as healthy as animal protein?
When considering whether a protein is healthy, it's essential to think about the protein package. For example, protein from red meat is often complete, meaning it contains all essential amino acids on its own. However, red meat is associated with high cholesterol and cardiovascular issues, so it isn't particularly healthy.
If you eat plant-based protein, do you need to eat more protein?
Plant-based protein is just as valuable as animal-based protein, meaning you won't need additional protein in your diet. Still, it's essential to consider whether the protein is complete — this is why it's best to stick to pea, soy, hemp, and other plants known for containing the nine essential amino acids your body can't produce naturally.
Are PURIS proteins isolates or concentrates?
Our proteins are isolates (80% protein purity) that use water and mechanical separation to purify the product. Our protein has a neutral flavor, making it easier for restaurants and food manufacturers to recreate the flavors of animal-based proteins. PURIS has proactively implemented equipment and processes to recover and utilize as much wastewater as possible in our manufacturing by investing in water recovery solutions.
How PURIS is Revolutionizing the Plant-based Protein Industry?
PURIS is committed to simulating the taste, texture, and protein content of the most popular animal-based foods. Additionally, by using pea protein, PURIS ensures its foods are just as complete as those made from animals.
The PURIS vision is to unite farmers, food companies, and consumers with sustainable, healthy ingredients. PURIS believes people deserve to know where their food comes from and be able to trust the ingredients they consume. Our pea protein is sourced from the United States, using only non-GMO ingredients.
PURIS for Growers
PURIS is committed to helping every grower take advantage of the opportunity to grow plant-based foods. We provide end-to-end partnerships as a sustainable foundation for healthy crops, profits, and for the good of our planet.
Many PURIS growers found peas an easy way to transition to organic farming. We believe farmers deserve higher-quality choices past the one-seed-fits-all model that only serves some. Unlike many common seed varieties, PURIS non-GMO seeds are adapted to the unique conditions of our partner farms, each naturally bred for superior yield and disease resistance, leaving the soil better than before you started. Simply put, our PURIS Grains team provides seeds needed to grow successful crops that our team will buy back to create our plant-based food.
Additionally, because we have control over our supply chain processes, PURIS is able to eliminate unnecessary food waste, growing the exact amount of peas needed for supply each year. By doing this, PURIS growers aren’t left with any food supply, time, or resources wasted.
PURIS for Makers
PURIS is an ideal solution for restaurants and food manufacturers who want to end their reliance on animal-based protein. Our plant-based burgers contain less sodium and fat than other animal-based and plant-based burgers as well as zero cholesterol.
Our plant-based chicken can imitate both dark and white meat. The texture and flavor are nearly indistinguishable from conventional chicken, making it an ideal choice for restaurants looking to add plant-based poultry to their menus.
PURIS also offers nutritious and great tasting solutions for food makers through non-GMO pea starch and fiber. These ingredients are functional in a variety of applications, from bakery to confections.
PURIS pea-based sweeteners are an ideal way to sweeten granola bars and other snacks without adding any flavor. Unlike other commercial sweeteners, our syrup is sourced entirely in the United States and is carbon-and-energy efficient.
PURIS for Eaters
PURIS products are an ideal choice for people who want to consume less meat. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or are simply looking to add more plants to your diet, ur non-GMO, single-sourced ingredients are a excellent way to get the protein you need.
Since many of our products contain pea protein, they have the essential amino acids you need for a balanced diet. PURIS was named the most innovative food company of 2021 by Fast Company Magazine, and we plan to continue fostering innovation in the sustainable food ecosystem.
PURIS protein powders are an excellent choice for those committed to fitness. Our pea-based protein powders have 24 grams of protein per scoop (30 grams), without the unnecessary additives.
How to get started with PURIS
Whether you're interested in growing sustainable plants, sourcing non-GMO goods for your ingredient supply, or using PURIS ingredients in your home, we're here to help. Reach out to us via our contact form, and we'll be in touch.
For those interested in buying our plant-based proteins today, check out our Amazon store.
For those interested in buying our plant-based proteins today,check out our Amazon store.