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Video Credit: UW Medicine Are plant-based meats healthier for you?

In past few years plant-based meats have become very popular with consumers. These vegan options are now, also appealing to meat eaters, creating disruption in the food market.

Burger King featuring “Impossible meat” in their signature Whopper or Subway offering Beyond Meat are great examples of vegan meat reaching the wider population

Ania

Your host Ania Wojtkowska

This is not really a new phenomenon; meat alternatives have been available for centuries.

During the 10th century Chinese tofu was described as “small mutton”. The western world was also interested in meat free alternatives as they needed some good options for Lent (the six weeks period before Easter).

Historically chopped almonds and grapes were used as a substitute for mincemeat. Diced bread was made into imitation crackling. There was even a book published in 1909 by Sarah Tyson Rorer - Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery and Meat Substitutes. The book includes a mock veal roast recipe made from lentils, breadcrumbs, and peanuts.

Up until 2009, meat alternatives were created having in mind mostly vegetarian and vegans – TVP (texture vegetable protein), Quorn (mycroprotein ) or Calysta (single cell protein-based meat analogue, which does not use fungi however but rather bacteria).

In 2009 Beyond Meat changed the game by creating products which were addressed towards meat eaters to change the way they ate.

Following the latest trends the company was founded on an ethical basis with the intention to produce healthier, whilst positively impacting climate change, conserving natural resources and respecting animal welfare.

In 2011 Impossible was similarly founded aiming to provide a plant-based alternative without negative environmental impact.

Ania Wojtkowska

Both Beyond and Impossible revolutionised the meat-free food scene, as meat eaters started to include these vegan options in their diet. Very often Beyond and Impossible are portrayed as healthier options, although to date there are not any specific studies on these products.

There are many issues which need to be addressed e.g. how do they influence our hormones or microbiome composition. Any health claims are also questionable and need to be proved.

They compete in a protein content with a lean beef burger, as they’ve been created to have a similar amount.

However both Impossible and Beyond have significantly more sodium (that can cause increased blood pressure) and saturated fats (with an associated risk of cardiovascular diseases).

Impossible and Beyond are not your friends if you are trying to shed a pound or two.

In my opinion both Beyond and Impossible go against the principles of a whole food plant based diet. Both products can be easily classified as plant based, but there are definitely not “whole foods”.

They are made from the protein of soy (Impossible Burger) and peas (Beyond Burger). These isolates are highly processed and don’t contain the same nutrient and phytochemicals as soy or pea.

In the case of the Impossible Burger, one serving contains less than 8% of the isoflavones found in one serving of whole soy foods.

There is also social aspect of both products, for example their burger patties are served in fast food chains, with a usual fast food perks – fries, giant serving of sodas etc.

To conclude, I think these are great products for a new vegan and people transitioning to a plant based diet, but in the long term maybe, it would be better to include tofu, tempeh or some home made veggie or bean burgers in you diet.

Ania Wojtkowska offers workshops and cooking classes (also suitable for helpers). Check out Ania's Calendar of Events here

 

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Richard
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6 July 2020
In past few years plant-based meats have become very popular with consumers. These vegan options are now, also appealing to meat eaters, creating disruption in the food market.
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LivingVeggiebyAnia
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1 July 2020
Raw Vegan Live & Virtual Cooking Class Learn how to prepare healthy and light dishes, no stove nor oven required. We will prepare 2 delicious dishes packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants - all to boost your immune system and help you to maintain healthy weight. Time & Location 11 Jul, 16:00 – 17:15 GMT+8 About the Event We all know that vegetables are beneficial for our health – they are an important source of nutrients and antioxidants and help us to lose weight. Their fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease Raw dishes might come handy if you need to boost your immune system or are looking for some delicious dishes which will help you to lose a pound or two. If you are looking for some healthy recipes perfect for a family dinner or a dinner party our raw cooking class can help. We, will show you how to prepare 2 delicious recipes, step by step , you can either prepare it simultaneously during the class or observe and prepare it later. Raw tacos are a great light appetizer or a healthy finger food to nibble on in front of TV. I am going to show you how to prepare raw ‘’walnut meat’’ - I love it as a non-processed alternative that still fills you up and provides you with tons of protein. Delicious raw vegan lasagne – prepared from scratch from fresh ingredients. it is all about balancing a myriad of flavours you will get from the wholefood ingredients needed for the lasagne. These dishes are perfect for vegans and meat eaters as we all need some delicious healthy and light dinner sometimes. Both dishes are 100% plant based and gluten free BOOK HERE: https://www.livingveggiebyania.com/event-details/raw-vegan-live-virtual-cooking-class
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