Simulated meat alternatives are designed to be identical to animal alternatives in taste and feel. Similarly, the nutrient composition of vegetarian products is largely analogous to that of corresponding meat products on the market. The benefits of plant-based substitutes over animal-based foods are the presence of a low amount of saturated fat in addition to a high fiber content depending on the ingredients. The optimal amount of vitamins, protein, fiber and lower saturated fat, which anticipates long-term health benefits such as reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
They are sometimes called superfoods because they contain a high quality vegan protein with high fiber content, 233% more calcium and 53% more iron. Plus, nutritionists say they’re cholesterol-free, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free, and this bowlful of a healthy diet has 62% fewer calories and 71% fewer saturated fats compared to real pork. Studies suggest that mycoproteins help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels and may even lower LDL cholesterol levels, as they contain no cholesterol, are low in saturated fat, and contain no trans-fatty acids. Studies have shown that soy protein directly lowers LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. The most unique aspect of soy protein is its high content of isoflavones, which are considered to have many health benefits. Nutritionally, tofu is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat, and high in protein (approximately 50%). It also contains about 27% essential fatty acids and a good amount of calcium. One of the recent studies has focused on the healthier utilization of tofu processing byproducts that contain nutrient-rich protein and fat that taste good and may be beneficial to human health.
Simulated meat and side effects
Unlike dairy substitutes, meat substitutes are generally not fortified. Therefore, these vegetarian alternatives do not compensate for the nutrients derived from animal products. Unfortunately, these alternatives often contain high amounts of salt along with additives such as flavoring agents or preservatives. These mock meats, which are generally priced higher than their traditional counterparts, may become more affordable in the near future as people become very concerned about food safety globally. Gluten-based simulated meat may taste good, but the only problem is that they have zero nutritional value, digestive disorders, mood swings, and reduced energy balance in the body.
Research has shown that soy contains estrogen-like compounds called genistein and daidzein. These are isoflavones that are believed to interfere with female sex hormones causing breast cancer in women and also contribute to dysfunctions of thyroid hormone metabolism. The Gluten-Free Diet Surprisingly, some studies have reported that long-term consumption of the gluten-free diet can lead to a reduced level of fiber and minerals such as iron, zinc, and potassium in the body. Meanwhile, there is an increased risk of nutritional deficiencies, such as B vitamins and trace minerals, which are considered a major setback due to the impact of a gluten-free diet.
Later, in India, the concept of vegetarian meat is also becoming fashionable. Many young entrepreneurs after quitting high-profile jobs ventured into the simulated meat business by selling products online. They claim that these meat substitutes come with a long shelf life, without any of the religious objections, adverse health consequences, and horrible effect on the environment. But some are unconvinced of the potential of plant-based meat in India, citing a consumption trend that has been imported from the West but is a cultural misfit in India.
Dr. Girish SP, Senior Consultant – General and GI Surgery, Aster RV Hospital