Replacing animal protein with plant protein, meat substitutes, is growing in popularity and earning accolades from foodies and medical professionals alike. According to Vegetarian-nutrition.info, meat substitutes are beneficial for the body, mind, and environment. With the wide variety of meat substitutes available today, enjoying a meatless meal is healthy, easy and delicious.
Those looking to include more plant-based proteins into their diet can choose from a wide variety of products. Some of the most common substitutions include:
• Ground “beef” products
Check out The Hallmark Channel to find some delicious recipe ideas for a meatless summer or fall cookout.
Physical and Health Benefits
While eating protein is an essential part of the human diet, forms of animal protein can contain high levels of fat and cholesterol along with dangerous antibiotics or hormones that adversely impact the human body. On the other hand, meat substitutes are free of saturated fat and are typically free of cholesterol as well. Additionally, these products are lower in calories and contain higher amounts of polyunsaturated fats from soy oil or corn oil. These fats are building blocks for the human body and are better to ingest than animal fats.
Additionally, plant based proteins contain higher levels of important vitamins and nutrients. These products are also usually fortified, meaning other nutrients have been added to aid the body in acquiring good health. Some of the most common added nutrients include Iron, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, and Thiamine. These vitamins produce amino acids, which are necessary for keeping many parts of the body functioning. In fact, the General Conference Nutrition Council, the World Health Organization Science and Nutrition Board, and the American Medical Association all agree that anyone following a vegetarian diet should take a Vitamin B12 supplement, up to 3 mcg per day. However, by eating plant based meat substitutes, this requirement can be easily met.
Be Green With Meatless Meals
With rising temperatures and droughts, worry for the health of the planet has spurred a large curiosity for meat substitutes. Fortunately, plant based meats require less water and no antibiotics or steroids, which keeps land, water, and the human body in better health.
Following a meatless diet can also decrease the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere. According to an article on Washingtonpost.com, cows produce and release close to 100kg per year! This is the same amount of toxic emissions released by a car that burns 235 gallons of gasoline. Additionally, raising one pound of beef requires six pounds of feed, resulting in further damage and use of decreasing farmlands. With cattle getting such a bad rap, meat substitutes continue to rise in popularity, as they are safer and healthier for the environment.
While following a strict vegetarian diet of meatless substitutes may not be everyone’s cup of tea, meatless protein products are beneficial to both the human body and planet.