Today, thanks to the efforts of many consumers and the food industry who are aware and motivated by altruistic reasons, they seek to support the health of people, animals and the environment by promoting alternatives that replace the traditional consumption of meat.
These alternatives have provided the possibility of making changes in the diet in order to obtain benefits for health and nature.
Substitutes for meat consumption
The variety and acceptance of meat substitutes have been increasing over time and improving in the last decade, due to the different needs and goals of people who try to avoid or limit their consumption of meat.
Before you choose to consume one or more substitutes on a regular basis, it is important that you evaluate and identify what you are looking to obtain from each one in particular, as well as the nutrients that may be necessary to obtain additionally to compensate for not consuming meat.
You can choose a meat substitute according to some characteristics such as:
-Content of fiber, proteins, vitamins, among other nutrients.
-Restriction of any of its components.
Among the most popular meat substitutes are:
-Legumes or legumes: such as beans, lentils, chickpeas and combinations with whole grains.
-Tofu or Tempeh / Soy.
-Quinoa and other seeds.
– Processed vegan food options, meat substitutes such as “Beyond Meat / Impossible Foods”.
-Textured vegetable protein.
Considerations when substituting meat for vegan alternatives
Some processed substitutes may not necessarily be vegan or have components you’re looking to limit such as eggs, dairy, gluten, and more.
-Avoid products with ingredients with excess saturated fat, sodium or artificial ingredients.
In turn, some substitutes, despite having ingredients considered healthy, can be highly processed and have a high content of saturated fat, sodium and artificial ingredients that provide greater durability or shelf life, flavor and texture.
Consequently, they may not provide long-term health benefits if consumed regularly.
Whether you want to limit or completely eliminate your meat intake, keep in mind that some substitutes may not have all the characteristics you’re looking for and may not contain the nutrients you’re looking for.
-Check the nutritional information on the label
Check or check the nutritional information on the product label and review the list of ingredients in detail. This way you could have a general idea of the nutrients they contain.
Incorporate meat substitutes into your diet
The variety of product alternatives to meat consumption can give you the opportunity to have a healthier and more environmentally friendly diet.
You can achieve a balance between the variety of meat substitutes and other foods that complement your diet to obtain a rich flavor, obtaining the necessary nutrients and avoiding ingredients that could be counterproductive if consumed in excess for your health. You have nothing to lose by trying!
Source: Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic.