Did you know that meat, along with dairy, account for 14.5% of human-induced global greenhouse emissions?
How about the fact that industrial meat is the biggest reason for deforestation globally?
Or that eating red meat is associated with an enhanced risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and many types of cancers.
Perhaps this is the reason why most people are axing meat totally from their diet.
If you, too, are highly environment- and health-conscious, and the thoughts of meeting your nutritional needs keep on haunting you. But do not worry, as we have got you covered. Although meat is one of the richest sources of proteins (along with some vitamins and minerals), plant-based food is no less.
Whether you have already become a vegetarian or planning to be one, let us introduce you to the best substitutes for meat.
Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are the first to come to mind when thinking about protein-rich alternatives for meat. These veggies are loaded with protein and micronutrients, such as folate and iron, that help to round up your vegan diet.
Sprouting legumes further boosts their nutrient profile. Furthermore, they can be eaten in many ways. You can add them to salad, use them in curries, soups, and stews, make casseroles, or puree them to make spreads and dips.
Tofu is another excellent meat substitute that is rich in all essential nutrients. Made from curdled soybeans, its neutral flavour allows you to pair it with numerous grains, sauces, and vegetables. Available as soft, firm, and extra-firm, you can have it in many forms, including fried, grilled, or baked.
Besides protein, tofu contains nine essential amino acids, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1, copper, magnesium, and zinc.
Jackfruit wears more than one feather on its hat. It is packed with fibres and antioxidant-rich vitamin C. It helps in enhancing digestion, improving your heart health, and boosting immunity.
Most importantly, it is the closest a vegan option could get to the meat in terms of taste and texture.
Mushrooms are highly nutritious and versatile. They are loaded with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and contain many essential nutrients.
Their meaty texture makes them a perfect addition to various veggie-based dishes. You can add them to casseroles, pasta, burger, soups, stews, pizza, and several other dishes.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are some of the healthiest food options for vegetarians. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and healthy fats. Studies have shown their efficacy in the prevention of chronic diseases.
A perfect healthy snack option, they are low in saturated fats and rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They are a good source of protein, dietary fibres, vitamins B6, E, folate, and niacin, and minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, plant iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.
The healthiest nuts and seeds include walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds.
If you can’t get over the taste, texture, and feel of meat, your prayers have been answered in the form of plant-based meat.
Future Farm manufactures delicious and healthy plant-based meats that are much healthier than real meat. Lower in calories and saturated fats, they are made from ingredients, such as vegetable protein extract, coconut oil, beet juice, etc.
As tasty as the real meats, plant-based meat is a boon for people who have recently turned vegan or vegetarian.
The bottom line
The meat industry has long been abusing the planet and our health. Thankfully, as more and more people have become conscious of the environment and their health, the torment has come to an end.
Moreover, with these delicious and healthy substitutes for meat, people now have one more reason to ditch meat and become vegan.