With vegetarian and vegan diets become more popular, we are right to ask whether meat substitutes are actually healthier than meat itself.
Of course, it depends on the particular product, how a person prepares it, and which meat they are comparing it with.
It’s not always better to eat a meat substitute, especially if the substitute is high in sugar, salt, saturated fats, or processed ingredients. In these cases, and if you have no moral objections to eating meat, it’s better to be eating fish or organic chicken breast. Meats are also rich sources of protein and contain all the essential amino acids. They also contain iron and vitamin B-12, which many plant foods do not contain.
However, eating lots of processed, salted meats may not be better than eating natural meat alternatives.
However, meat also contains no fiber and may contain cholesterol and saturated fat. The American Institute for Cancer Research say that eating more than 18 oz of red meat per week raises the risk of colorectal cancer.
Also, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggest that eating some meat is fine and may be beneficial, as fish contains heart-healthy omega-3 fats. However, they also suggest that people minimize their intake of processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, and meats high in saturated fats.
People who are not following a vegetarian or vegan diet may find that substituting with meat alternatives is both healthful and environmentally conscious. It’s now generally recognised that society’s higher consumption of processed and red meat led to increased CO2 emissions, which are harmful to the environment.
The website Medical News Today recently published an article comparing and evaluating the nutritional value of the various meat substitutes – Read Article