Is plant-based meat healthier than animal products?
argues that since these foods are ‘specifically formulated to replicate the taste, texture and overall eating experience of animal products’, they are a much more effective way to reduce the need meat and dairy rather than just encouraging people to cook whole vegetarian food.
Research conducted by psychologists at the University of Bath, concluded that Plant-based meats and dairy alternatives ‘provide a healthier and more environmentally sustainable solution which takes into account consumer preferences and behavior. ‘
The review examined 43 studies on the health and environmental impacts of plant-based foods, as well as consumer attitudes. One study found that nearly 90% of consumers who eat plant-based meat and dairy are in fact meat-eaters or people who like to flex; Another found that plant-based products that taste, texture, and cost similar to processed meat have the best chance of replacing meat.
Are plant-based diets better for the environment?
The paper also found that these plant-based products cause lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions than the animal products they are replacing. One paper found that replacing 5% of German beef consumption with pea protein could reduce CO2 emissions by up to eight million tons per year. Another result showed that compared to beef burgers, plant-based burgers were associated with up to 98% less greenhouse gas emissions.
The report authors argue that plant-based products typically require less agricultural land, require less water, and are less polluting than animal products.
Health benefits of a plant-based diet
Health-focused studies of plant-based products also show that they tend to have a better nutritional profile than animal products, with one article showing 40% of meat products Commonly classified as ‘less healthy’ compared to just 14% plant-based alternatives based on the UK Nutrition Profile Model.
Others find plant-based meat and dairy good for weight loss and building muscle mass, and can be used to help people with specific health conditions. Food manufacturers can add ingredients such as edible mushrooms, microalgae or spirulina to plant-based foods, enhancing properties such as amino acids, vitamins B and E, and antioxidants. Future innovations in processing and ingredients are likely to lead to further improvements in nutrition.
Report author Dr Chris Bryant from the University of Bath, said: “We are increasingly seeing how plant-based products can shift demand away from animal products by attracting three key factors. Essential elements that consumers want: taste, price, and convenience.
“This review presents clear evidence that, as well as being far more sustainable than animal products in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, water use and land use, animal product alternatives based on Plants also have many health benefits.
“Despite the amazing progress that plant-based manufacturers have made in recent years, there is still huge potential to improve the taste, texture and way they cook. There is tremendous potential to innovate ingredients and processes to improve their nutritional properties – for example, by enhancing vitamin content.”
The authors stress that, despite the health benefits of these products compared to meat, many individual factors will influence health including overall calorie consumption and exercise levels. / operation.
Dr. Bryant suggests that more research will now be needed to make these improvements a reality, ensuring manufacturers can create tastier, healthier products and offer consumers Sustainable options are more likely to reduce demand for meat.