Plant-Based Meat: Is It Good For You?
With the trend of healthy living campaigns and plant-based diet movement, the popularity of plant-based meat has been gaining traction. For quite a while, plant-based meat has been offering healthier options to people who want to shift to going plant-based or vegetarian. It also serves as a good alternative to the actual meat and is packed with real flavors and textures while being sustainable. Going plant-based meats will help lessen the consumption of conventional meat or even totally eliminate it. If you're thinking of trying or switching to plant-based meats, know more about its benefits and other commonly-asked questions.
What are They Made of?
This kind of meat is usually made from plant ingredients that are transformed to imitate meat. From taste, smell, texture, and appearance, plant-based meats come in various forms like burgers, ground meat, sausages, nuggets, even crumbles, and faux seafood.
Common components of this meat are legumes and grains. They are used for their fibers and starches, which are later converted into flours or concentrates. These ingredients then undergo hydration, shearing, and cooking through a process called extrusion, where the result is a close imitation of meat characteristics.
These plant-based meats actually have two main types. One is called whole muscle plant-based meats, which are designed to resemble chicken breast, steak, or other animal muscles. The other is called restructured plant-based meat, which mimics ground beef, sausages, meatballs, nuggets, etc.
Are They Healthier as They are Vegan?
Plant-based meats are basically vegetarian as they are made with plant-based products. However, some of them may not be vegan as they might have stuff or emulsifiers like eggs and other dairy products. These are usually added to improve or enhance their flavor or texture. So, if you are vegan, be careful when you order in restaurants as their plant-based meat might contain toppings or dressings that are animal-based.
They have low calories and contain more protein and low saturated fat. Plant-based meats also help reduce health risks that are associated with too much meat consumption, like cardiovascular diseases. Studies also show that your mortality risk grows higher if you consume too much red or processed meat. However, like with other forms of diet, too much of anything can lead to negative results. Thus, it is recommended to consume plenty of plant-based foods that are minimally or not processed, like green leafy vegetables and fruits.
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With the rise of health and environmental consciousness trends worldwide, more and more people have developed awareness of these matters, leading them to cut down on meat consumption. Over time, these plant-based meats have proven their benefits not only to human’s health but also to the environment. So, the next time you are going grocery shopping, give plant-based meat a thought and see how beneficial it is not only to the environment but to your taste buds as well.