Updated: Mar 1, 2022
Over the last decade, there's been a steady rise in the availability and popularity of plant-based meats. But are they really healthier than what they're trying to replace? Are they better for the environment? Are they worth considering or adding to your plate? Do I feed them to my kids? In this article, I'll break down what they are, how they're made and what nutrients they contain, including the good and the bad. We'll also see how they measure up to their meat counterparts.
THE RISE OF PLANT-BASED MEATS
Due to increases in demand, plant-based meat substitutes have gained quite the following. Social media has helped spread a message of environmental suffering and has also shone a light on the steady rise in chronic diseases linked to excessive meat consumption. Lots of people are trying to cut back on red and processed meats, which is a good plan since they've officially been classified as carcinogens. Although they've been around for a while, fake-meat products have gained lots of popularity thanks to this increased awareness about the not so sexy side of meat, as well as some great marketing tactics, including celebrity endorsements. But what about the scientific data surrounding these trendy meat replacements? Considered to be processed foods, are they as bad as other ultra refined, yet highly palatable foods?
WHAT ARE PLANT-BASED MEATS?