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


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health


4 min 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 plant-based meat healthy? Yes, it is. However, be mindful of your nutritional intake and how plant-based meat affects your health. Before you make a switch understand what exactly plant-based meat is made of. Read on to have all your doubts cleared and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of plant-based meat.

Additional Read: Is Plant-Based Protein Better for You? 6 Pros and Cons You Should Know

What is plant-based meat?

Plant-based meat is a vegetarian food made from plants that mimic 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?

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

In restaurants and stores, you can find different varieties of these products. To exemplify, a plant-based burger can be of multiple types. In one, you may find a patty made from mushrooms and beans. Another may have pea protein, jackfruit, seitan, or soy, which will make it resemble a meat product.

Additional Read: 6 Top Everyday Superfoods You Should Incorporate in Your 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.

  • Plant-based meat ingredients are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are healthy for you.
  • Plant-based meats may help prevent health issues like hypertension [1]
  • Eating plant-based meats 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]:

  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Many kinds of cancers
  • High cholesterol levels

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 a high amount of sodium which increases the risk 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 types of meat contain ingredients that you may not want to consume, like added sugar, refined oil, dextrose, or modified cornstarch. 
  • Some plant-based meats are more expensive than average animal-based meats.

How to choose the right plant-based meat?

Plant-based meat 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

By making the right choices, you can enjoy plant-based meat safely, healthily, and heartily. Before you start consuming plant-based meat 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! 

Published on 4 Apr 2022Last updated on 12 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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