You may choose to eat a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons, including wanting to consume foods that you absolutely hope are both deliciously delicious and, of course, nutritious. However, a new study has found that some meat substitutes lack essential nutrients your body needs.
The research, published at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, nutrientsincluded a look at 44 different meat substitutes on the market. The varieties were primarily soy and pea protein-based, but there were also options that included the fermented soy product tempeh and mycoproteins, which are proteins derived from mushrooms.
Researchers have found that various meat substitutes have a range of nutritional content. They also noted that the estimated amount of iron and zinc that can be absorbed into the body from these foods is low due to the anti-nutrient phytates.
Read on to learn more about the effects of some of these meat substitutes, and check out 5 Coffee Habits That Could Shorten Your Life for more health tips.
Plant Proteins May Be Lacking Some Nutrients
“Not all proteins are created equal” Catherine Gervacio, RD, Registered dietitian and nutrition contributor for Living.Fit, explains Eat This, Not That! “Although plant-based proteins contain less fat, calories and cholesterol than meat products, they also lack some qualities. This study presents one of the most important properties that plant-based proteins lack.”
“Meat substitutes are derived from plants,” explains Gervacio, and “contain phytates naturally to store phosphorus for plants to reproduce and grow.” “While beneficial to plants, phytates are popularly known as anti-nutrients because they bind to certain nutrients, particularly calcium, zinc, and iron, to make them less absorbable.”
“This is why plant-based proteins or meat substitutes are known to carry non-heme iron (a less absorbable type of iron) because phytates bind to it,” says Gervacio.
But Fermented Products Could Be Better
To make sure you choose nutritious plant-based foods or meat substitutes, Gervacio says, “Fermented products like tempeh are excluded from these plant-based foods and meat substitutes, as phytates are broken down through fermentation, as research indicates. Miso is another strain that has undergone fermentation and has the same quality as tempeh. “
“Choosing the best plant-based foods can be difficult, especially if iron and zinc are among your main concerns,” says Gervacio. daily necessities.”
Eating Animal Products Occasionally Can Be Helpful
Beyond that, Gervacio says, “I highly recommend eating a well-balanced meal that includes a combination of animal and plant-based proteins. While animal proteins contain cholesterol and fat, they can provide the body with beneficial amounts of iron and zinc. Plant-based foods often lack the ability to provide absorbable iron and zinc, but the blood “They can lower their cholesterol and have fewer calories. Both can compensate for the other.”
Finally, Gervacio says, “For those following a plant-based diet, it’s best to speak to a professional to find out if a true diet is devoid of certain nutrients and whether supplementation is necessary.”
Desirée O is a freelance writer covering lifestyle, food and nutrition news, among other topics. Read more about Desirée