Vegetarian meat substitutes

It is generally accepted that a vegetarian diet is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Numerous scientific studies confirm that a vegetarian diet is in many ways beneficial to health and increases the length and quality of life. It is possible that the original diet of human beings was vegetarian. While a vegetarian diet can provide adequate nutrition, some people need plant-based meats. Such imitation of food of animal origin helps them to switch to a plant-based diet. Accordingly, as early as the nineteenth century, meat substitutes based on grains, nuts and vegetable proteins began to appear on the market. The pioneers of this movement include American nutritionist and corn flake inventor Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Seventh-day Adventist preacher Ellen White, and companies such as LomaLindaFoods, WorthingtonFoods, SanitariumHealthFoodCompany, and others. There are many reasons to prefer meat substitutes to meat: health benefits , the benefit brought by such products to the environment, considerations of a philosophical or metaphysical nature, the comfort of the consumer himself; Finally, taste preferences. Perhaps these days, when it comes to choosing meat substitutes, the first reason is the health benefits. Consumers tend to avoid fat and cholesterol in their diets, and meat substitutes can be part of a healthy plant-based diet because they provide the body with essential plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals without the highly saturated fats and cholesterol that animal foods abound. Environmental considerations are also increasing public interest in plant protein products. It is known that five to ten times more protein can be obtained from one acre (a quarter of a hectare) of land when it is consumed in its pure form than when the resulting vegetable protein is “transformed” into animal protein, meat. In addition, there is a significant saving of water and other resources. Many people refuse meat for religious or ethical reasons. Finally, people prefer meat substitutes because they are convenient to prepare and eat and tasty additions to the daily diet. What is the nutritional value of meat analogues? Meat analogues are an excellent source of plant-based protein and flavor diversity as part of a vegetarian diet. For the most part, commercial products of this kind contain detailed information about nutrients on the labels. The following is general information regarding the nutritional value of meat substitutes. Protein Meat analogues contain various sources of vegetable protein – primarily soy and wheat. However, vegetarians and vegans should be careful – analogues may also contain egg whites and milk protein. Any vegetarian diet should include a wide range of foods; the presence of meat analogs in the diet allows you to provide the body with various sources of protein that guarantee the balance of basic amino acids. The diets of most vegetarians tend to contain various types of proteins derived from legumes, grains, nuts, and vegetables. Meat analogs are a great way to complete this range. Fats Meat analogues do not contain animal fats; accordingly, the level of saturated fat and cholesterol in them is low. As a rule, the total content of fats and calories in them is less than their meat equivalents. Meat analogues contain exclusively vegetable oils, mainly corn and soybean. They are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and free of cholesterol, unlike animal fat. Nutritionists recommend a diet that contains at least 10% of calories from saturated fat and less than 30% of total calories from fat. 20 to 30% of calories should come from fat. Occasional consumption of high-fat foods such as olives, nuts, etc. is acceptable, as long as the amount of fat in the diet is within the above limits. Vitamins and minerals Typically, commercial meat substitutes are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals normally found in meat. These may include vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, and iron. Sodium in commercial products is found in ingredients and flavors. Read labels to select the right products. Although lacto-vegetarians get adequate amounts of bioactive vitamin B12, vegans should find a decent source of this vitamin for themselves. Meat analogues are usually fortified with this vitamin. The recommended amount of vitamin B12 is 3 micrograms per day. The most common biologically active form of vitamin B12 is cyanocobalamin. Conclusion A vegetarian diet is recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether a person’s aspirations are to completely eliminate all animal products from the diet, practice lacto- or lacto-ovo vegetarianism, or simply reduce the amount of meat consumed, meat analogues can help ensure the presence in the diet of various proteins containing low amounts of saturated fat, compared to their meat equivalents, moreover, cholesterol-free fats and providing the body with additional vitamins and minerals. When combined with adequate amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and (optionally) low-fat dairy products, meat analogs can add extra flavor and variety to a vegetarian diet.

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