Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, CSO recently wrote an informative article in “Today’s Dietitian” as the popular vegan and vegetarian meal plans continue to grow. She states the many types of foods that make up meat substitutes as mushrooms, green peas, beans, soy, wheat gluten, etc.
The pros of using meat substitutes range from increasing fiber and decreasing saturated fats to positive environmental outcomes and dietary diversity.
Other benefits include chronic disease prevention, reducing the risk of E coli or Salmonella infection. Likewise, meat substitutes mostly made from plants may need to be heated but not cooked like meat. Cost is also a huge positive factor for incorporating more bean and quinoa burgers, etc.
Drawbacks include lack of B12 which is found only in foods of animal origin as eggs, dairy, and meat. A vegetarian and vegan client must take an appropriate and well made B complex. ( You are welcome to call 610-359-1700 or email me at email@example.com should you have a question in this area.)
Also, prices fluctuate for meat substitutes and can cost more than certain meats.
Meat substitutes are higher in sodium and may have coconut or palm oil both of which are high in saturated fats but give texture to the product. Additives and flavorings are also added.
Another concern is that meat substitutes contain top food allergens as wheat, soy and tree nuts.
I’ll stick to making homemade bean and quinoa burgers!