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The Rise of Plant-Based Meat: A Sustainable Food Revolution

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Plant-based meat is a vegan substitute for the non-vegetarian diet made from vegetarian products. Read below to get more information.

Written by

Dr. Kriti Singh

Medically reviewed by

Durga Kumari

Published At November 20, 2023
Reviewed AtNovember 20, 2023


Meat has been an essential part of the diet for ages. Beef, pork, and chicken are products in high demand worldwide. However, there are specific negative impacts associated with meat consumption. Therefore, dieticians and nutritionists have devised different alternatives as a replacement. There is high protein content and good nutritional value in the meat. However, people consuming a vegetarian diet are deprived of certain nutrients. Plant-based meat is a meat analog substitute for people who are consuming meat. It resembles not only texture and taste but also nutritional efficiency. With the rising awareness of global climate changes and animal cruelty, people are opting for healthier choices regarding diet and nutrition. Plant-based meat is one step solution for adapting to vegetarianism slowly adapting to the changes.

What Is Plant Based Meat?

Plant-based meat is a vegetarian food substitute that mimics meat products. It is derived from plants. It is meant to replace animal meat as it is similar in its texture, taste, smell, and appearance. These products are entirely vegetarian, healthy, and good in taste. It is produced directly from plants, and the plant ingredients are turned into food with a similar taste and texture to meat. It comprises protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It tastes like conventional meat and is beneficial for health. It is a plant and fungus-based alternative made with soybeans, legumes, peas, seitan, coconut, and quinoa. They are commercially sold as alternatives for ground beef, patties, and chicken nuggets.

What Are the Types of Plant Based Meat?

Listed below are the various types of plant-based meat:

  • Seitan - It is a plant-based meat replacement made from the vital wheat gluten. It has a savory flavor and meat-like texture. It is used in stir fry, savory flavors, pasta dishes, and sandwiches. It is manufactured in the form of cube strips and deli slices. It contains high protein content; therefore, it is one of the best substitutes for meat alternatives. It also contains a small amount of iron, calcium, and potassium, which is beneficial for health and can be prepared at home with the help of wheat gluten, soya sauce, and garlic. However, it should be avoided by people suffering from gluten sensitivity as it is made of gluten.

  • Vegan Burger - It is also known as ‘beyond burger’, which contains significant pea protein ingredients. It also has refined coconut oil, cocoa butter, fried yeast, and protein derived from rice. They are free from gluten. Therefore, it can be consumed by people suffering from gluten sensitivity. It is highly nutritious as it contains vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. The vegan burger is a processed product, so it should be consumed in moderation.

  • Jackfruit - Jackfruit is a large tropical fruit found in Asia, Africa, and South America. It contains thick green bumpy rind, soft stringed inner flesh, and edible seeds. Due to its consistency and mild flavor, it has replaced meat products. It is often used as a substitute for the meat dish known as pulled pork. Jackfruit has low calories; however, it has low protein and fat compared to other plant-based meat alternatives. It has micronutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium, and fiber.

  • Soybeans - It is one of the original plant-based meat alternatives as it has a mild flavor and versatile texture. It is a legume with high protein content. It can be used in stir-fries and consumed as a snack.

  • Tofu - It is a spongy cake made of water and soybean. It can be pressed, cubed, cooked, and consumed as a meat substitute. It can be used as stir fry, snacks with sandwiches cooked with vegetables. It can be crumbled and cooked. It is also an alternative to the dairy product paneer.

  • Tempeh - It is a fermented soybean product sliced into thin slices and added to the stirfry; it can be consumed as a snack, stews, tacos, and crumbled sloppy joes.

What Are the Benefits of Plant Based Meat?

It is an excellent way of incorporating protein into a diet by choosing plant-based meat products. Following are the nutritional benefits of plant-based meat products.

  • It is an excellent alternative to meat products that vegetarians cannot consume.

  • It is one of the best ways to add protein to the diet and add a variety of spices to taste in vegetarian and vegan people.

  • It is healthy for the heart as it prevents an increase in cholesterol, thereby reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

  • It is low in calorie content and, therefore, helps in weight loss.

  • It reduces saturated fat content in the diet.

  • It increases the fiber and vitamin content of the diet.

  • It reduces the risk of cancer.

  • It decreases inflammation.

  • It improves gut health by improving digestion.

  • It regularizes bowel movements.

  • It lowers trans fat and cholesterol level.

  • It reduces the risk of hypertension by regulating blood pressure.

  • It improves blood sugar levels.

What Is the Downside of Plant Based Meat?

Plant-based meat is one of the best alternatives for vegetarians to meet the dietary protein requirements of the body. However, total protein content is still low in plant-based meat products. In addition, it usually contains more carbohydrates than animal meat. It also lacks omega three fatty acids, which are beneficial for health found in animal meat. Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there are knowledge gaps in the composition of plant-based meat, and more investigation is required to determine their health impacts. The American Heart Association has also stated that the evidence available for the short and long-term effects of plant-based meat alternatives is limited.


Plant-based meat analog is one of the best alternatives for improving health and reducing animal cruelty. It is one of the versatile meat-free options for people choosing vegetarian, as it has enough nutritional content to fulfill the dietary requirements. People have started consuming plant-based meat for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. However, people should always be mindful of the nutritional intake of diet and its health benefits. Advancements in food technology have enabled plant-based meat to be as close to texture and taste as meat and provide all the nutritional properties.

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Dr. Kriti Singh
Dr. Kriti Singh


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