What Is the Likely Impact of Alternative Proteins on Diet Quality, Health, and the Environment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Elsevier, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 8, February 2024
Kapur M., Pena A.N., Sreeram N., Bloem M.W., Drewnowski A.

Alternative protein (AP) foods are proposed to support a global protein transition. Whereas AP food innovation has been a strategy to promote consumption of protein sources with low environmental impact in high-income countries (HICs) diets, their relation to sustainable, high-quality diets in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) remains to be established. AP foods vary in nutrient profile, processing requirements, costs, and environmental impact. Current literature regarding AP suitability in LMIC contexts is limited. This perspective examined environmental and nutritional metrics that can assess the sustainability of AP in LMICs. Current research areas needed to accurately assess environmental impacts while considering nutritional density were identified. An overview of the usability of relevant AP in both high- and low-resource settings was also explored. Metrics addressing diverse contextual synergies in LMICs, unifying nutritional, environmental, and socioeconomic considerations, were found necessary to guide the integration of AP into LMIC diets.