A new study from the George Institute for Global Health suggests that plant-based meats may be high in sugar and lacking in essential nutrients compared to real meat. This research is published in Nutrition & Dietetics.
Increased consumption of plant-based meats
Giving “Veganuary” a go? So you may have been adding plant-based meats — also known as “meat imitations” — to your diet as a substitute for the real thing. The market for such products is growing exponentially, and its value is estimated ~$7.5 billion in 2021 – an image that is set to mount ~$15.8 billion by 2028.
A variety of plant-based meats are now available in the grocery store. Most are made using plant-based proteins (such as wheat, soy, pea or rice proteins) or mycoproteins. Although these products can be considered “healthier” than animals, research on their health effects is limited. “Both grain-fed and cooked pork generally fall into the highly processed category, so this raises concerns about their role in the diet,” he says Maria Shahiddata researcher in the Food Policy Division at the George Institute for Global Health.
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Shahid is the general secretary of a a new lesson which evaluated and compared the nutritional content and health benefits of plant-based and animal-based meat analogues in Australia.
Analyzing the nutrient composition of processed meat-based foods
Using the “FoodSwitch” database, Shahid and colleagues analyzed 790 products in eight food groups (132 plants, and 658 animals). Nutritional value was assessed using Health Star Rating, energy (kJ), protein (g), saturated fat (g), sodium (mg), total sugar (g) and fiber (g) per 100 g, and total fat. food preparation using the NOVA group,” the authors write it down. Food types analyzed in the study included burgers, mince, sausages, chicken wraps, bacon, meatballs and meatballs.
Protein was similar for other types of food and real meat. But of the 132 plant-based animal analogues analyzed, only 12% were found to contain the essential micronutrients found in animals – including iron, vitamin B12 and zinc. “Although we found that wild meats are healthier than processed meats, the healthiest options would still be unprocessed meats and beans, beans and falafel,” he said. he says Shahid.
How to make sure you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy
In Australia, consumers are being advised to limit their intake of processed meats due to links to an increased risk of cancer. “But it’s not as simple as a straightforward exchange – simply relying on meat alternatives to meat can lead to iron, zinc and B12 deficiency over time if you don’t increase your intake of these essential nutrients from other sources or take supplements,” he explains Dr. Daisy Coyleaccredited practicing dietitian (APD), researcher at The George Institute and co-author of the paper.
For those who want to eat a plant-based diet, and ensure they get the nutrients they need from a healthy diet, Coyle. it shows the following: “Make sure you eat protein-rich foods such as eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt and/or iron-rich plant sources including dark leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli, as well as tofu, nuts and seeds; and beans and beans.”
Most importantly, self-control is important. “Until we know more about the health benefits of plant-based meat analogs and have ideas on how to include them as part of a healthy diet, it’s best to eat them in moderation along with other plant-based proteins such as bean patties.” , falafel and tofu. Or if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, lean unprocessed meats and seafood,” he said. he finishes.
This article is a revision of a Press release published by the George Institute for Global Health. Content has been updated to make it longer and more meaningful.
References: Melville H, Shahid M, Gaines A, et al. Nutrition profile of plant-based meat analogues marketed in Australia. Nutrition & Dietetics. 2023;n/a(n/a). two: 10.1111/1747-0080.12793.