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Health Benefits, And Ways To Add Them To Your Diet

Health Benefits, And Ways To Add Them To Your Diet


Plant-based meat is the key component of alternative proteins that confer immense health incentives and are used by most people globally. Though substitutes for meat like tofu and tempeh have been used for ages, until recently, the plant-based meat category has taken the healthy eating world by storm, and several products are nearly indistinguishable from conventional animal meat.

Yes, these products were once a category meant for rubbery soy-based sausage and flavourless ones are now a product that delivers some impressive-tasting food.
plant based meat alternatives

Take this two-minute read to know if plant-based meat is healthy. Or is it just a food trend, and how does it benefit overall health?

What Are Plant-Based Meat Alternatives?

Plant-based meat alternatives are food components specifically designed to mimic traditional meat’s taste, flavour, texture and most importantly nutrient value, using substances obtained from plants. These products offer sustainable ethical and wholesome options for people looking to decrease or refrain from meat intake from their meal regimen. Plant-based meat alternatives are made from soy, peas, lentils, and other plant proteins and are used in numerous forms like burgers, sausages, nuggets, curries, and stir-fries.

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Five Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

Tofu and Tempeh

Tofu and tempeh are made from soybeans, which are an impressive source of plant-based protein and an excellent way to boost the protein content in vegan and vegetarian diets. Soybeans also contain essential amino acids, dietary fibre vitamins, and minerals like calcium and iron.

Tempeh comprises more protein and fibre than tofu, and owing to its fermentation process, it is more easily digestible and assimilated.

Ways to Add to Diet:

Tofu: Add to soups, stir-fries, or scramble it as a substitute for eggs.

Tempeh: Marinate and grill it, add it to tacos, or slice and add to sandwiches.

Side Effects:

A few individuals may be allergic to soy. Excessive consumption may cause bloating or discomfort in some people.

Seitan (Wheat Gluten)

Seitan is a low-fat, zero-cholesterol, and high-protein plant alternative, making it a great choice of meat for cardiac patients. It delivers more protein per serving than most other options. It also contains iron, selenium, and vitamins that augment overall physical health and well-being. It replicates the chewy texture of meat, thus making it a great alternative to animal meat products.

Also Read: What Is Seitan? Nutrition, Uses, Pros, And Cons Of This Wheat Meat Alternative

Ways to Add to Diet: 

Stir-fries: Sauté with vegetables and sauces.

Sandwiches: Use in place of deli meat or as a filling in wraps.

Baked or Grilled: Prepare as you would with chicken or beef.

Side Effects:

As it is obtained from wheat, it may not be suitable for those suffering from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It may also cause bloating or gas in sensitive individuals.

Pea Protein Products

Pea protein is the protein present in peas that comprises all nine essential amino acids the system cannot produce independently. This protein source is best known to improve the diet’s nutritional value. Moreover, it is free from common allergens like soy and gluten, which is easy on the gut.

Ways to Add to Diet:

Burgers: Use pea protein-based patties for a meatless burger option.

Smoothies: Add pea protein powder to smoothies for an extra protein boost.

Meatballs: Incorporate into recipes for vegetarian meatballs.

Side Effects:

It may cause mild digestive discomfort in some people.


Lentils are plant-based protein sources rich in dietary fibre, protein, iron, and other vital nutrients. The fibre content helps diminish cholesterol levels and augment heart health. Lentils are versatile proteins that can be incorporated into a spectrum of culinary delights.

Ways to Add to Diet:

Soups and Stews: Add to soups for a hearty, protein-rich meal.

Salads: Mix cooked lentils into salads for added texture and nutrition.

Lentil Loaf: Use as a base for a vegetarian meatloaf.

Side Effects:       

The high fibre content may cause gas or bloating. If not properly prepared, the antinutrient compounds may interfere with nutrient absorption.


Jackfruit is one of the most popular meat alternatives. It is bestowed with vast reserves of vitamins C and A, potassium, dietary fibre, and other nutrients. Several studies suggest that bioactive compounds present in the flesh and seeds can potentially prevent cardiovascular disease and ease inflammation.

Also Read: Jackfruit: Health Benefits, Uses, Varieties, Recipes And Side Effects

Ways to Add to Diet:

Tacos: Use shredded jackfruit as a filling for tacos.

Sandwiches: Substitute for pulled pork in sandwiches.

Curries: Add to curries for a meat-like texture.

Side Effects:

A few individuals may be allergic to jackfruit.

Overconsumption can cause digestive discomfort due to high fibre content.


Plant-based meat alternatives offer a variety of benefits, from optimizing overall health to reduced environmental impact. Adding these alternatives to your diet can be a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy your favourite meals without the need for animal products. However, be mindful of potential side effects and choose options that suit your dietary needs and preferences.

( This article is reviewed by Preeti Sharma Wellness Expert )

Author Profile:

M Sowmya Binu:

With over 15 years of expertise and a Postgraduate degree in Nutrition, M Sowmya Binu is a seasoned professional in the field of nutrition. Specializing in tailoring personalized diet plans, she underscores the significance of a balanced approach to health, emphasizing the integration of medication with dietary intake for holistic wellness. Passionate about equipping individuals with knowledge to make informed decisions, Sowmya adeptly develops insightful content encompassing a wide array of topics including food, nutrition, supplements, and overall health.


 Plant-Based Meat Alternatives: Technological, Nutritional, Environmental, Market, and Social Challenges and Opportunities

Giulia Andreani,1 Giovanni Sogari,1,* Alessandra Marti,2 Federico Froldi,3 Hans Dagevos,4 and Daniela Martini2

Plant-based meat alternatives: Compositional analysis, current development and challenges

Author links open overlay panelMudasir Ahmad a b, Shahida Qureshi a, Mansoor Hussain Akbar c, Shahida Anusha Siddiqui d e, Adil Gani a, Mehvesh Mushtaq a b, Ifrah Hassan a, Sanju Bala Dhull f


The content provided here is for informational purposes only. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider for any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition. Reliance does not endorse or recommend any specific tests, physicians, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned on the blog.

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