We constantly hear about the health benefits of plant-based diets—those on them have a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes,as well as certain types of cancers.But for meat eaters (that's me),it's hard to imagine getting protein from anything other than an animal,even with all the convincing reasons to try it.
"By skipping meat,you are reducing your intake of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol significantly,as well as the toxins that come along with meat preparation and production," says registered dietitian and author ofPlant-Powered for Life,Sharon Palmer."Secondly,you are replacing that meat with something very healthful: legumes,soy,whole grains,nuts,seeds.These types of plant proteins have a healthier "package" because they come along with fiber,vitamins,minerals,healthy fats,and phytochemicals."
Luckily,while she thinks it's good to get protein in everything you eat,she says meat alternatives are a great fit too.We're not strictly talking tofu and tempeh either.These days there are plenty of brands out there that make it easy to make the switch (or just switch things up here and there) without sacrificing flavor.
"The main criteria is to look at the ingredient list to see if you like the ingredients (clean ingredients),and the protein profile," she says."You should get at least seven grams of protein in a serving."
Here are three meat alternative brands that fit the bill:
This is by far my favorite of the meat alternatives.In my opinion,you can't completely imitate meat,but this sure comes close to it.Beyond Meat is 100 percent plant-based protein and comes in a variety of meatlike products.There's "chicken" tenders,ground "beef" for tacos or burgers,there's even burger patties.Plus,it's free of gluten,dairy,and trans fats.I served a version of their "chicken" to my husband with a sauce over it,and he never realized he was eating pea and soy proteins.That's a win.You cansee what this person first thought of Beyond Meat here.
If you're a fan of deli meat and hot dogs then look no further than Field Roast.Their products are made with wheat proteins mixed with vegetables and spices but look like the real thing.They serve up breakfast "sausage," "bratwurst," and even have "meat loaf" for a comfort food fix.They also have a type of cheese called Chao made from tofu.It's soft like cheese and can be used in grilled cheese.Take a look: