The latest food craze over the past couple of years has been plant-based meat, but according to a dietitian there are some caveats to think about.
- Plant-based meat products are made from products such as wheat gluten, pea, soy and even jackfruit and can have added flavors, processing and added salt to give a “meat-like” presentation. Not all of these are healthy ingredients.
- A 2021 study in Nutrients found that many plant-based burgers, nuggets and sausages are made with “filler ingredients” and are frequently fried and lead to higher salt, calorie and fat intake.
- They also found that people who consumed plant-based meats lacked the daily requirements of potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12. Yes, it’s possible to meet your nutritional requirements with plant-based proteins, but the bottom line is that you need to pay attention.
In general, like anything else with diet, plant-based meats can beneficial if they are consumed properly, but you need to include other protein sources like nuts, seeds and legumes, consider vitamin supplements, go for choices low in sodium and saturated fat and consume them with healthy food and drinks like vegetables and whole grains.