Erika’s Post – Meat Substitutes
As vegan and vegetarian diets continue to grow in popularity, meat substitute options are also increasing. Weight management and cholesterol reduction goals most often drive meat substitute purchases.
Meat alternatives are usually made of beans, lentils, tofu, jackfruit, tempeh, peas, wheat gluten, mushrooms, soy, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
When making meat alternative choices, here are some factors to consider:
- Higher fiber
- Lower saturated fat
- Food safety – most meat substitutes only need to be heated, but not cooked like meat, resulting in a reduced risk of E coli or Salmonella infection
- Plant based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products – they use fewer natural resources and are associated with less environmental damage
- Lack of Vitamin B12 – critical nutrient found only in foods of animal origin
- Some meat alternatives are more expensive than meat
- Since they are often more processed, meat substitutes are often higher in sodium than meat
- If meat substitutes contain coconut and/or palm oil, they may be high in saturated fat
Consider as many factors as possible when making any substantial change in your diet.