Note: This article was reviewed by a registered medical professional.
More and more, people are seeking healthier, greener, and more ethical foods to substitute for meat-based foods. It has even become fashionable. A key question is whether these products are healthier or better than traditional meat. Plant-based meat substitutes have varying nutritional levels. Before substituting meat in your diet, it is important to know the daily energy requirement that suits your gender, age, and activity level.
The daily energy requirements can vary depending on your metabolic demand, activity level, age, gender, etc. There is a belief that consuming plant-based foods beyond meat is more ethical and environmentally friendly. But there is some doubt about whether plant-based alternatives provide the required amount of energy for consumers. This article aims to provide answers to many common questions related to meat substitutes. We also aim to provide enough facts to guide you on how to select the best suitable substitute to meet your nutritional needs.
What are Plant-based Alternatives for Meat?
Plant-based alternatives are food products manufactured using plant parts to mimic meat. These alternative products are vegetarian-friendly and manufactured in different forms. In other words, these plant-based alternatives are referred to as fake meat. Vegans make the majority of these alternatives, and few are produced with a combination of milk and egg. Wheat gluten, pea protein, soy, starch, nuts, vegetables are some examples of plant-based alternatives. Various alternatives products can substitute meat. Among them, burgers are famous, and many people purchase them. Most of these burgers are produced using plant parts such as mushrooms, pea protein, and seitan. These ingredients help the manufacturers to obtain a meaty texture for the final burgers. Are Meat Substitutes Healthier? According to scientific research, plant products are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. So there is no doubt that they are very healthy for consumption. These nutritious ingredients within plants help heal the human digestive system and aid in resolving many of the problems associated with our physiology and function. The antioxidants within the plant sources help protect the body from oxidative stress and help slow the aging process. Other than that, the phytochemicals within plants help provide essential antioxidants, and they help protect the microbiome. Antioxidants are crucial to maintaining the body’s metabolism, and they help maintain healthy body weight and keep our BMI within the correct range. Regular consumption of plant-based products always helps people live healthily and helps prevent various non-communicable diseases. Recent research studies on the long-term consumption of red and processed meat indicate increased risk of getting colon cancers. There is a higher prevalence of colon cancers among xpopulations who regularly consume red, processed meat. So people are advised to increase the use of plant products to make their meals. Meat is rich in zinc and many other minerals so the plant-based alternatives will not contain the required amount of minerals. So it is essential to consider the daily nutritional requirements. There is no need to consume meat if you can meet the daily requirements on a plant-based diet. Some of the plant-based substitutes contain more salt and saturated fat. So it is essential to consider the nutritional quantities before consuming. A Few Things to Know before Selecting a Plant-based Meat Substitute If you are deciding whether to consume plant-based meat, it is recommended to refer to the ingredients before making your decision. Try to choose products with low salt, low saturated fat, and rich in vitamins and minerals. Remember to check the protein content and the protein source used for the manufacturing. There are instances where we can find products that are not favorable to consume regularly. Avoid products manufactured including artificial ingredients, additives, and flavors. Try to avoid and choose products that don’t contain or contain fewer added sugars. The calories within the product must be considered. It is imperative to consume foods that don’t exceed your daily recommended calorie intake. If not, there is a higher risk of increasing body weight which eventually brings various health issues. What are Impossible and Beyond Burgers?
There are two types of trending burgers manufactured based on plant products. And they belong to two different brands manufactured by two companies. Impossible burgers are mainly soy protein, some coconut oil, and sunflower oil. Mainly they are free from gluten, and the meat-like appearance is taken by adding heme which is produced using genetic engineering technology. Beyond burgers don’t contain soy protein, but use pea protein instead. They are also gluten-free and contain canola oil, coconut oil, and pea protein. Compared with the nutritional composition of burgers and beef, they are similar. But there are a few noticeable differences. 1. Beyond burgers contain less saturated fat than beef. Saturated fat is not healthy, and regular consumption increases heart disease. 2. Beef contains no carbohydrates, but both Impossible and Beyond burgers contain carbohydrates. 3. Beef never contains fiber, but plant-based burgers have a small amount of fiber. 4. Beef contains less sodium, but the Beyond and Impossible burgers contain considerable sodium. Impossible and Beyond burgers are sustainable and environmentally friendly products. They are also better options for vegetarians and vegans as some love the taste of beef. This is why people love consuming Impossible and Beyond burgers. Beyond and Impossible burgers can be prepared and look the same as beef, but it is challenging to obtain the real taste of beef with the burgers. The taste can be improved by preventing overcooking and by adding some oil. Summary There are plant-based alternatives to meat. Plant sources are more nutritious, providing various health benefits to consumers. Impossible and Beyond burgers are two products manufactured to substitute beef. They are widely used as people prefer plant-based meat to fulfill daily nutritional requirements.