A new study demonstrates that partial replacement of red and processed meats with pea- and broad bean-based foods ensures adequate intake. amino acid It was included in the diet and did not adversely affect bone metabolism. This research was conducted at the University of Helsinki.
“It is safe from a protein nutrition point of view to reduce the intake of red and processed meat in the diet to the upper limit of the healthy diet of the planet and increase the intake of legumes grown in Finland such as peas and broad beans. Likewise, bone health is not compromised by such dietary changes,” says Docent Suvi Itkonen of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
BeanMan research overview
In the BeanMan study, 102 Finnish men followed the study diet for six weeks.
- One group consumed 760 grams of red and processed meat per week, which accounted for 25% of their total protein intake. This amount corresponds to the average protein intake of a Finnish man.
- Another group consumed mainly legume-based foods, such as peas and broad beans, representing 20% of their total protein intake. Additionally, the amount of red and processed meats this group consumed per week reached the upper limit of the Planetary Health Diet (200 g, or 5% of total protein intake).
Otherwise, study subjects followed their usual diet, but were not allowed to eat red meat, processed meat, or legumes other than those provided in the study.
Research findings and their implications
The researchers found no differences between dietary groups in markers of bone formation or resorption. Calcium and vitamin D intakes also did not differ between groups. Calcium intake was consistent with current dietary recommendations, and vitamin D intake was also very close to recommendations.average essential amino acid Protein intake met recommendations for both groups.
“Reducing red meat consumption is very important from an environmental impact point of view,” Itkonen points out.
Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular, and the recently updated Nordic Nutrition Recommendations also emphasize limiting meat intake and moderating dairy intake.
“In this study, the subjects ate dairy as part of their normal diet, so their intake of calcium and vitamin D did not change. It is important to keep in mind that if you want to reduce your It could be a product like that, or a nutritional supplement if needed,” Itkonen points out.
Upcoming publications and related projects
Further insights from the BeanMan study on lipid metabolism, gut health and nutrient intake will be published in the future.
Reference: “Effects of partial replacement of red and processed meats with non-soy legumes on bone, mineral metabolism and amino acid intake in the BeanMan randomized clinical trial.” Suvi T. Itkonen, Piia Karhu, Tiina Pellinen, Mikko Lehtovirta, Niina E. Kaartinen, Satu Männistö, Essi Päivärinta, Anne-Maria Pajari, 10 July 2023, British Journal of Nutrition.
Leg4Life (legumes for sustainable food systems and healthy living – Palkokasveilla kohti kestävää ruokajärjestelmää ja terveyttä) is an interdisciplinary project funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland. By increasing the use of legumes, Leg4Life aims to achieve a comprehensive social transformation towards healthier food systems and climate-stable food production and consumption. The project has five extensive work packages covering the entire food chain from field to fork, all studying legumes that thrive in northern Finnish conditions.