Over the past decade, the meat-free meat market has exploded. In the old days – aka the ’90s – vegans basically had to choose between salty cardboard and bland cardboard as alternatives to meat. Today, however, plant-based meats – especially ground beef and plant-based burgers – literally bleeding for our attention. But they are all fake meat Equal strong And delicious? I reached out to nutritionists to weigh in on what to look for and what to avoid when buying plant-based meat.
First of all, it is important to remember that fake meat brands and companies are on the market for different reasons. “Some are designed to appeal to meat lovers as a plant-based alternative, with the look and feel of meat,” Maddie Pasquariello, a registered dietitian in Brooklyn, told Mic. really. These are products like the Impossible Burger or the Beyond Burger, which aim to mimic the experience of eating meat as closely as possible. Others are simply designed to be healthy meat alternatives and don’t necessarily taste like meat, cook like meat or even look like meat at all, Pasquariello explains.
So when you’re shopping for plant-based meat alternatives, you should first consider what you want other than imitation meat. Do you want it to look and taste like animal meat, providing a good source of protein and other nutrients, go for it. good for the environmentor some combination?
The best butchers also tend to be the most processed.
If you are looking for the most meat-like experience, the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are the top ones and they have the added benefit of being greener Dana Ellis Hunnes, a registered dietitian in Los Angeles, assistant professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and author of Recipe for Survival: What You Can Do to Live a Healthier and Eco-Friendly Life, tell Mic. “Beyond and Impossible burgers taste delicious but are higher in processed products that are higher in saturated fat,” she said. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good for you, but Hunnes advises against making them a daily staple.
Plant-based meats made from whole foods are more nutritious.
“Typically, the most nutritious plant-based meats you will find will be those made with simple whole ingredients,” says Pasquariello. She recommends reading labels to make sure what you buy contains limited fiber, protein, and additives.
And, Hunnes notes, you should be especially vigilant about the sodium and fat content. “[Plant-based meats] are still a highly processed food, and they often have a lot of added sodium, and depending on the brand, a lot of saturated fat,” she explains.
If you are not educated on how to read the name of food, Pasquariello has some advice. “Try to look for plant-based meat alternatives that contain at least 8-10g of protein per serving (or more – some provide up to 20-30g), with at least 5g of fiber per serving and 300mg sodium or less per serving,” she says.
But don’t just focus on nutritional content; look at the ingredients, too. “Ingredients that sound like an actual food tend to be less processed and healthier than those that are highly processed and hard to spot,” says Hunnes.
The plant-based meats recommended by nutritionists can come as a surprise.
One of Pasquariello’s favorites is the brand’s black bean burgers Realistic vegetables. “They are high in protein, as well as fiber, and have no saturated fat. The ingredients list is simple, they’re high in vitamin A and magnesium, while being relatively low in sodium — a lot of money for you,” she says. While they may be a relatively unknown option, a quick search reveals them to be in the refrigeration section of some grocery stores, as well as some online market.
Hunnes likes Dr. Praeger .’s Perfect Burgers Best because they contain recognizable ingredients and have a healthier nutritional profile than a lot of processed foods. In fact, many of the dozens of nutritionists I contacted for this article said these veggie burgers were their favorites, citing the good balance between flavor and aroma. taste and nutrition. To be honest, I was surprised by this; I have been a vegetarian for decades and have never tried these. The packaging looks a bit medical and I am always skeptical about products packaged under the doctor’s name – nuances of Dr. Atkin’s – but it just goes to show that you can’t judge a burger by its exterior.
You probably shouldn’t eat plant-based meat every day.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you shouldn’t eat meat with every meal, even if it’s plant-based. “I would have a hard time saying that any vegan burger is a healthy food,” says Hunnes. “Most of them are not a healthy food, they are not necessarily healthy foods either. They are an eco-friendly and humane food, and as a vegan, from those two aspects, I recommend using vegan meat as a ‘treat’ food. or once-a-week food, rather than daily food – but animal meats should not be a daily food. ”