How healthy are “fake meats”?


(HealthDay): More and more Americans are looking for healthier, greener, and more ethical alternatives to meat, but are plant-based alternatives, such as the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat, really nutritious substitutes?

The answer is yes, according to new research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. He found that meat imitations were a good source of fiber, folate, and iron, although they contained less saturated fat than . But the researchers said they also have less protein, zinc and vitamin B12 and plenty of salt.

“Land change for an alternative vegetable ground beef may be a healthy option in some way, ”said lead researcher Lisa Harnack of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.

Her advice: read the nutrition data label and choose a product that best suits your health and nutrition goals.

For example, if you limit sodium control , avoid salt-rich products, Harnack said.

“If you’re looking at saturated fat intake for heart health, read the label to make sure you’re choosing a low-saturated fat product,” he said. “Some products contain as much or almost as much saturated fat as ground meat.”

For the study, Harnack’s team used a University of Minnesota and a nutrient database that includes 37 freshly ground alternative ground beef products .

The products analyzed come from Amy Kitchen, Inc .; Beyond the flesh; Conagra, Inc .; Impossible Foods Inc .; Kellogg NA Co .; Kraft Foods, Inc .; Marlow Foods Ltd; Tofurky; in Worthington.

While these plant-based products can be healthy alternatives to beef, Harnack hopes its makers will make them even healthier by keeping salt to a minimum.

“Food companies should work to optimize the nutritional quality of their products, especially in terms of the amount of salt and other sodium-containing ingredients used in the formulation of vegetable burgers and other alternative ground-based beef products. in plants, ”Harnack said.

Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Health in New York City, reviewed the results.

He noted that the World Health Organization has classified processed meats (sausages, bacon and sausages) as potentially carcinogenic and red. (beef, lamb, beef and pork) as probable substances that cause cancer, due to processing, meat compounds and cooking methods.

“Limiting the consumption of red and processed meats significantly reduces the intake of saturated fats,” Heller said.

Sodium in some imitations of vegetable meats can be moderated to high, but if most foods people eat are less processed, it shouldn’t be a problem, he added.

“Ultimately, eating more plants and fewer animals is good for your health and for your health of the planet, “Heller said.

But “alternative to meat” is not an ideal term, he added, because it sets expectations for taste.

“Although some” meats “of vegetable origin are close to the taste and texture of real meat, the idea is that these foods offer a different choice for proteins, not an individual exchange for meat or other foods. ‘animals”. Heller explained.

There are many options for those looking for a more plant-based diet, he said.

“The best whole foods are the best, but there are plenty of spaces to include meat, dairy, poultry, and plant-based alternatives,” Heller advised. “Every day, if we eat a balanced, plant-rich diet, we should be able to meet our nutrient needs.”

The findings were published on June 15 in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Taste alone will not persuade Americans to exchange beef for vegetable burgers

More information:
For more information on vegetable diets, go to Committee of Doctors of Responsible Medicine.

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