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Make an Informed Switch: 4 Advantages and Disadvantages of Plant-based Meat

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
April 4th, 2022
10 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • People around the world are switching to plant-based meat
  • Plant-based meat ingredients include soya, mushroom, peas
  • High sodium count can be a major disadvantage of plant-based meat

For ethical, health and environmental reasons, people around the world are looking for sustainable plant-based meat substitutes. Is it healthy? Yes, it is. However, be mindful of your nutritional intake and how it affects your health. Before you make a switch understand what exactly it= is made of. Read on to have all your doubts cleared and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of plant-based meat.

Additional Read: Plant-Based Protein

What is plant-based meat?

Plant-based meat is vegetarian food made from plants that mimics meat products. These products include alternatives of the following kinds and forms of fish and meat: 

  • Sausages 
  • Burgers 
  • Chicken 
  • Ground meat 
  • Prawns  
  • Scampi 
  • Tuna  
  • Salmon 

mimics meat products

What is plant-based meat made of? 

Some of these products are suitable for vegans, while others can contain ingredients like milk and egg, which is non-vegan. Popular ingredients that plant-based meat products may include are: 

  • Tofu or soy 
  • Potato starch
  • Seitan or wheat gluten
  • Pea protein
  • Lentils and beans
  • Coconut oil
  • Vegetables  
  • Nuts and seeds 

There is an endless variety of the type of products that you can purchase in stores and restaurants. For example, a plant-based burger may contain a simple patty made from beans and mushrooms. Or it may contain jackfruit, soy, seitan or pea protein to give it an authentic meat-like texture. If you are preparing plant-based meat at home, you can experiment with the different types of substitutes available to find what suits your taste buds. 

Additional Read: 6 Top Everyday Superfoods For Daily Meals

Plant-based meat substitutes

What are the advantages of plant-based meat? 

Plant based meat benefits are subjective to your reason for choosing to eat them, but there are some common benefits that you can consider. 

  • These ingredients are a rich source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that are healthy for you 
  • These may help prevent health issues like hypertension [1] 
  • Eating these helps reduce animal cruelty in slaughterhouses to some extent  
  • Many plant-based meats offer similar texture and taste to animal meat making it easier for you to shift to these products or become vegetarian or vegan  

Another major advantage of plant-based meat is its effect on the health of your heart. It reduces the chance of cardiac diseases and improves your overall health and well-being. Eating less meat decreases the risk of the following [2]: 

Animal-based meat is often loaded with saturated fats and cholesterol, which are the leading causes of poor heart health. Processed meats like bacon and sausage also contain high amount of sodium which increases the risks for heart diseases. 

bacon and sausage

What are the disadvantages of plant-based meat? 

Plant-based meat offers a number of benefits but has some downsides that you may want to know: 

  • They can contain higher amounts of sodium as compared to animal meat  
  • They lack the nutrients that you get with animal-based meat, but you can take health supplements to maintain the nutrients in your body 
  • Many packaged plant-based meats contain ingredients that you may not want to consume like added sugar, refined oil, dextrose or modified cornstarch  
  • Some are more expensive than average animal-based meats 

How to choose the right plant-based meat? 

These can be a great way for anyone to try an alternative to animal-based proteins. While this type of meat has its own set of pros and cons, the secret to healthy and safe consumption lies in your choice of food. While picking plant-based meat options, be sure to:  

  • Check the nutritional value and the calorie content  
  • Scan the ingredients to make sure that it suits your needs 
  • Read the labels carefully to be clear regarding the additives 

Conclusion

By making the right choices you can enjoy plant-based meat safely, healthily and heartily. Before you start consuming these products, you can also talk to a doctor to understand which foods or substitutes will be ideal for you. Simply book an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health and talk to expert nutritionists who will guide you through the process. You can also get help on any health-related concerns before switching your diet for smoother sailing!

Make an Informed Switch: 4 Advantages and Disadvantages of Plant-based Meat-banner

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