With raw vegan, plant-based meat protein, keto weight loss, and whey protein becoming a part of our everyday conversations, 2020 is the year of vegans. This is the time to realize the impact of your choices on the environment, give more value to fitness, and make a conscious decision to adopt a kinder, healthier, and lighter lifestyle.
But if you have been a meat lover all your life the thought of missing out on your favorite red meat burger and eating only vegetables can be intimidating.
And trust me, not only are plant-based meat alternatives tasty but also makes the vegan protein range so much bigger and diverse.
Known as the food of the future, the food manufacturing companies like Impossible and Beyond Meat are now tying up with popular food joints like Burger King and KFC. Their aim is to target meat lovers and increase plant-based meat alternatives available in the market.
What are plant-based meat alternatives and what are they made of?
Plant-based meat alternative or faux food are food items that taste like meat, feels like meat, smells like meat but isn’t meat. Every plant-based meat protein is made of different ingredients but the basic formula remains the same – a plant-based protein like soy protein, legumes, wheat gluten/whey protein plus spices, and a binding factor.
Why are plant-based meat alternatives getting popular?
The regular vegan protein options such as legumes, soy, potatoes, rice, have been around for ages providing ample vegetarian protein meals. But now instead of trying to convince people to shake up their taste palette and give up the red meat completely, the plant-based meat industry is now dishing out meat-free plant protein options such as vegan sausages, vegan beef and even mimicking poultry products and seafood.
What is making people shift onto the Plant-based foods?
According to a recent survey conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation (1), one of the first reasons why people try plant-based meat is curiosity.
Curiosity to see how it tastes or feels like and, is it really possible to develop a meat-free vegan protein. And once they develop the taste for it, it becomes easier to follow a high protein vegetarian diet plan and fasten the fitness journey.
What are some of the benefits of choosing plant-based meat alternatives over traditional red meat or pork?
Some of the benefits of plant-based meat alternatives:
- They can help you to reduce your carbon footprint – With children like Greta Thunberg leading the fight against global warming its time that the adults also pitch in. A plant-based diet plan consumes less energy and helps earth replenish its resources faster.
- They are likely to boost the meat-free industry – It is like a cycle – the more the people opt for low carbs and high protein vegetarian diet plans, the more revenue the plant-based meat alternatives’ industry earns. In turn, helping them produce more options to satiate vegan protein demands.
- They have great health benefits – Since a plant-based diet plan is easier on the stomach, it helps in sleeping better, avoiding digestive problems like constipation and weight loss. It also helps in lowering blood sugar, and cholesterol levels (2).
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Are plant-based foods healthier than regular meat options?
If we are considering the impact of a plant-based diet plan on the environment than definitely – yes. There is less emission of greenhouses gases and energy in their production.
While the amount of calories, saturated fat, and sodium is almost the same, vegetarian protein meals have a lot more iron, fiber, vitamins, and calcium.
Although there may not be much difference between the two, studies have shown that excessive consumption of red meat leads to increased chances of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancer (5).
It all comes down to the kind of bun (whole wheat instead of regular), the sides (fresh salad instead of fries), and the kind of toppings and condiments used.
What are some of the most popular plant-based meat alternatives?
Some of the growing faux food options are –
- Textured vegetable protein instead of ground beef
- Shiitake mushroom in place of “bacon”
- Seitan/Tofu in place of deli meats
- Ahimi for tuna
- Tempeh for chicken
I found this amazing recipe from the minimalist baker and trust me it is super yummy. Not only is it simple to make but also healthy. Each burger contains about 10 gms of protein. It is just the right recipe for the vegans to enjoy a summer BBQ.