I’m seeing the words “Plant Based” all over the grocery store and even at drive-through restaurants now. What exactly is it and should I be choosing plant-based alternatives? Here’s what real dieticians have to say…
“Plant-based sausages, burgers, and nuggets are more frequently fried, made with salt and "filler ingredients" that don't offer a nutritional benefit and are often consumed with low-nutrient sides and condiments. Data shows that regularly including these ultra-processed plant-based meats could potentially lead to higher calorie, fat, and salt intake.”
These studies found that those consuming plant-based meats fell short of the daily recommended requirement for calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B12. And, what’s more, those folks also consumed more sugar, saturated fat, and sugar. The group eating plant-based did consume more fiber than the meat-eaters.
A meat-free diet used to consist of tofu, legumes, and nuts and this was a healthier way of replacing the protein in your diet when avoiding meats. Some people do have health conditions that require less meats in their diets, and if that is the case, these plant-based options are a good alternative, but certainly not on a daily basis.
Though there are known health benefits from reducing meat intake and eating more plant-based proteins, at this point, the new plant-based, highly processed meats may not be the best option, but better to eat them in moderation.
So don’t feel like you’re missing out!