With all of the buzz surrounding a plant-based diet lately, meat substitutes and replacements are booming in popularity. However, “plant-based” and “healthy” are most certainly not synonymous.
Some of today’s most popular plant-based meat imitations are NOT as innocent as they may appear. If it seems like it’s beyond impossible (see what I did there…) for your plant-based meat alternative to taste (and bleed) just like real meat, does it really come as a surprise that it’s highly processed and loaded with synthetic ingredients and additives?
The leading products in the plant-based imitation meat industry contain a laundry list of hard-to-pronounce unnatural ingredients and common allergens.
Ingredients in the most popular plant-based meat substitutes include:
- Canola oil, which is carcinogenic, inflammatory, and downright toxic.
- Soy- one of the most common food allergens. Even if you’re not allergic, soy is difficult to digest and bloat-inducing. Soy can mess with your thyroid function and hormones, potentially sabotaging your metabolism.
- Maltodextrin, a highly processed additive that’s used as a filler, thickener, and/or preservative, can spike blood sugar and commonly causes bloating and digestive discomfort. It’s typically derived from GMOs and possesses no nutritional value.
- Methylcellulose- a synthetic chemical binder. It’s a laxative and can lead to intestinal issues.
- Highly processed natural flavors which typically contain many chemical additives and possess none of the nutrients found in nature.
As you can see, just because it’s made from plants doesn’t mean it’s good for you! If you want to go plant-based or cut down on your meat intake, the best method is to EAT REAL FOOD. Get your protein from nutrient-dense foods that come straight from nature, not a lab.
One of the main reasons why so many people are giving up meat and going plant-based is the health implications, but when it comes to trendy artificially synthesized meat imitations, you’re probably better of just eating a hamburger.
Not sure what to eat? These are some of the most nutritious, protein-rich, plant-based foods:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Brussels sprouts