Plant Based Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy

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From an article in The Conversation by Meghan McGee

As we ring in the new year and people announce their resolutions and goals for 2022, many opt for getting healthy, cutting out drinking or starting a new hobby. Vegan magazines and organizations are pushing plant-based diets — calling it the “ultimate new year’s resolution.”

But plant-based meats are often high in sodium, ultra-processed and not any healthier than the meat they imitate. Meanwhile, nearly half of the consumers think they are more nutritious. So if your resolution is related to health, you may want to reconsider switching to a plant-based diet.

The Impossible Burger, for example, is an impressive meat-free mix of soy, potato proteins, coconut and sunflower oils. It even bleeds like the real thing. At the same time its calorie count and saturated fat levels mirror a McDonald’s quarter-pounder, and it has six times more sodium.

The global market for plant-based meat is projected to explode to US $85 billion in 2030. And grocery stores are taking note, featuring an array of burgers, sausages, nuggets, ground meat and seafood options all without any trace of animal products.

What’s the Nutritional Benefit?

According to one study this year, the nutritional benefit of plant-based foods is minimal. Researchers from the Singapore Institute for Food and Biotechnology Innovation modeled the outcome of replacing bacon, chicken, beef burgers and ice cream with animal-



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