Health Concerns Linked to Plant-Based Vegan Meats

Recent research has shown that numerous plant-based meat products, often included in vegan diets, are heavily processed and contain high levels of salt, additives, and saturated fats. According to a recent peer-reviewed study, these plant-based meat alternatives, such as vegan sausages and burgers designed to replicate the taste and texture of meat, do not offer any significant cardiometabolic health advantages over diets that incorporate animal meats. The study specifically examined the impact of these plant-based meat analogues (PBMA) on aspects of cardiometabolic health.

The study consisted of dividing 82 participants into two groups. One group replaced their usual protein sources with six commonly used plant-based meat alternatives (PBMAs), while the other group continued with animal-based protein foods. The study assessed various cardiometabolic health indicators of the participants both before and after the trial period. These indicators included cholesterol levels and the body’s capacity to manage blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

The study determined that over an 8-week period, a diet consisting of plant-based meats did not demonstrate significant cardiometabolic health benefits when compared to a mixed diet that includes both plant and animal foods. The available plant-based meat alternatives on the market today do not provide the same health benefits as a traditional plant-based diet, which typically features whole foods like whole grains, fruits, legumes, and vegetables.

Currently, the manufacture of plant-based meat alternatives (PBMAs) typically requires significant processing, and the final products often contain high levels of saturated fats, salts and additives to replicate the taste and texture and other qualities of actual meat. Despite the meticulous selection of ingredients, recipes, and improvements in processing methods aimed at achieving meat-like textures and flavors, there are still notable differences in the nutritional profiles between PBMAs and traditional animal-based meats. It was noted that the high levels of phytates can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb minerals.

Simply being plant-based does not guarantee a healthier product. Therefore, it is crucial to keep an eye on how frequently these products are consumed by the population and to track the health impacts associated with plant-based meat alternatives.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Plant-Based Meat Analogs and Their Effects on Cardiometabolic Health: An 8-Week Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Plant-Based Meat Analogs With Their Corresponding Animal-Based Foods