Is vegan meat healthy? It depends

vegetarian But it’s never too late to explore vegan dietIn fact, it’s easier than ever thanks to the number of vegan meat alternatives available today. impossible and Beyond Meat From hamburgers to Gardenin’ Chicken to Tofurky, plant-based meat is everywhere.

Not just grocery stores.increasingly plant-based meal delivery service And with vegan options at eat-in and fast food restaurants, becoming vegan is getting harder by the day.

However, there is one question many people have about vegan meat. Just getting started Ask: Is it healthy?

What is plant-based meat made from?

Of course, it depends on the meat substitute.Some plant-based meat options are nutritious and consist primarily of whole foods that are minimally processed. what is there real meat — Not very good for you.

In general, vegan meat mainly consists of ingredients such as:

  • soy
  • beans
  • Vegetables such as peas and broccoli
  • fruit like jackfruit

It’s all good. So why are we talking about unhealthy plant-based meats? It’s all about what happens to these base ingredients.

To make it look and taste like meat, food manufacturers add filler ingredients such as wheat gluten, high amounts of salt, and artificial colors. In other words, if you choose a meat substitute that looks a lot like real meat, it’s probably because that “meat” has been heavily processed.

This is not to say that all vegan meat options are as unhealthy as processed meat. But yes, vegan hot dogs are probably just as unhealthy as regular hot dogs.

Plant-based meats certainly go a long way in reducing the burden on the environment. Animal Welfare Support and save moneyHowever, if you are swapping out meat for health reasons, you need to be conscientious about the meat substitute you choose.

Vegan meat health concerns

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Let’s take a look at some of the biggest risks associated with unhealthy plant-based meat.

highly processed

As mentioned earlier, non-meat requires a lot of processing to make it taste and look like real meat. Food is more processed if it contains artificial ingredients or “natural flavors.” Specifically, in meat substitutes, ingredients such as soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, and structured vegetable protein are processed ingredients.

This is bad news because ultra-processed foods increase the risk of:

  • obesity
  • dementia
  • high blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes
  • decrease in life expectancy

lacking important nutrients

Beef, pork, and chicken all provide the body with complete protein.

Many plant-based meats are made from ingredients that aren’t complete proteins on their own, such as legumes and vegetables. You should also know about plant-based complete protein options such as quinoa, tofu and tempeh.

low in protein

Most adults should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. Also, if you are active, you should consume more protein. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a handy calculator to work out how much you need to get.

Some vegan meats have less protein than real meat, but this has improved in recent years. should be supplemented with high-protein foods.

high in sodium and saturated fat

One of the biggest problems with plant-based meat is its sodium content. Much like processed animal meats, most vegan meats contain significant amounts of salt. Most of the sodium in our diet comes from processed foods. Read the label and check specifically for sodium levels before assuming a meat substitute is a healthy alternative.

This is especially true if you have high blood pressure or other heart health problems.

Meat substitutes generally contain saturated fat. oil type Especially with coconut oil. Saturated fat is unhealthy fat and can increase your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.


Many highly processed vegan meat alternatives are not good for you. However, not all meat substitutes are unhealthy. If you know how to read labels and choose healthier plant-based meat options, you’ll find vegan meats made with organic ingredients sourced from whole foods that are low in sodium and high in both fiber and iron. can do.

A plant-based diet is incredibly healthy — Plus, it’s cheaper, greener, and animal-friendly — as long as you stick to whole foods. the right tools Preparing nutritious meals with minimally processed ingredients will help you feel your best. , seitan is a high-protein, unprocessed meat substitute.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute health or medical advice. If you have any questions about your medical condition or health purposes, always consult a physician or other qualified Talk to your health care provider.