Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Dietary Options of Plant-Based Meat

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What is plant-based meat?

Plant-based meat is an alternative to real meat like farmed beef and livestock. These products were designed to reduce the carbon footprint and the climate impact as a consequence of the methane build-up from bulk-farmed meats. 

Plants are processed to eliminate natural ingredients like some fibre, carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals and polyphenols; only the protein is then mixed with up to 27 ingredients to develop a ‘plant-based meat.’

In this blog, we will explore the culinary qualities, nutritional effects and health advantages of plant-based meat.

What is Plant-Based Meat Made of?

The most common core ingredients of the plant-based are:

Tofu and soy

Tofu is made by combining soybeans with water and including a coagulant. Soybean is a high-protein legume that creates the basis for many alternatives to animal-derived meat and dairy.


An iron-containing molecule known as heme that forms part of living cells’ haemoglobin in plants and animals. Heme is used in certain plant-based meats.

Wheat gluten

Grains such as wheat possess a protein called gluten. Wheat gluten is usually referred to as seitan. Seitan contains a chewy texture, since the protein works as a stretchy binder in wheat.

Pea protein

Amino acids create proteins, and pea protein possesses many of the ones considered essential to get food. Pea proteins are used in multiple products, starting from vegan meats and protein products.

Potato Starch

Starch is a carbohydrate that is present in the majority of plants. Plant-based meat are more d=being developed using the starch and proteins from the spud.


Pulses such as lentils are the seeds of legume plants. They are great in protein and fibre, containing complex carbohydrates and essential vitamins. 


The popular vegetables in plant-based meats are carrot, cauliflower, aubergine and beetroot. 

Seeds and nuts

Seeds are plant embryos and nuts are hard-shelled fruits. Both of them are used in plant-based products.


There are different types of beans which can be substituted for animal-derived meats in meals or processed into products such as burgers. 

How is Plant-Based Meat Created?

At first, the plants must be grown. Then, the plant becomes an ingredient and is processed in factories, like other food products are. Processing food equals altering it in a certain way. This process includes washing, cooling, mixing, heating, drying, fermenting, packaging extrusion etc. In simpler terms, most food undergo some form of processing, including meat-based products.

Plant-based meat composition & sources

Plant-based meat utilizes proteins derived from plants to imitate the flavour and texture of real meat. It is often made from peas, soy, or mushrooms. But real meat originates from animals and provides a wide variety of minerals, vitamins and proteins. 

Protein Content

Both real meats and plant based meats are excellent sources of protein however their protein sources are different. To get an equivalent nutritional profile, certain plant based substitutes may need to be consciously paired with one another, while real meat normally have complete proteins with all essential amino acids.

Health Benefits of Plant-based meat 

  •  It is heart-healthy
  •  Low in calories and fat, hence weight-friendly 
  •  Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  •  It has a high-fibre content
  •  It increases gut health and helps in digestion. 
  •  It is a great source of protein and adds variety to the food spread of non-meat meals.

Multidimensional Benefits of Plant-Based Meat 

It is essential to note the different reason why people go for plant-based meat. Some people choose plant based meat to lower animal suffering while others do it for the sake of environment, and few others do it completely for health reasons.

A Healthier Diet Option

The 2019 EAT-Lancet Commission underlined that analysis had related consumption of processed red meat with an “increased risk of death from any cause”. 

A 2022 perceptive paper put forwarded that, regarding plant based meat versus real meat, “soy-based meats and soymilk compare favorably with their animal-based counterparts nutritionally.”

A paper in the Future Foods journal said that plant-based alternatives are comparatively healthier than animal products. It said the alternatives present numerous benefits, including favourable nutritional profiles, assisting weight loss, and serving certain health conditions.

Improved Care for Animals

Ascertaining that farm animals are treated well includes ensuring that they enjoy certain freedoms like the ability to express their natural behaviours and live a life in absence of pain. 

In factory farms, animals don’t have these freedoms. Farm animals undergo physical & emotional pain, and confinement is a common practice.

Lesser Environmental Impact

Generally, the environmental impact of plant based foods are less than animal besed foods. Animal agriculture is can be linked with multiple enviromental damages, including deforestation, highgreenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. 

Few plant-based foods can also be linked with environmental harm. Soy is a key example, as a food which is heavily linked to deforestation. Nevertheless, this connection itself exists because of animal agriculture: seventy seven percent global soy population is produced to feed farmed animals.

Plant-Based Nutrition Plan

While opting for plant-based meat, it is important to be conscious of a few factors:

  •  The nutritional value, particularly proteins
  •  The ingredients that are selected to prepare the meat
  •  Reading the label of food to know about additives
  •  Look over whether good fats have been used

Taste and Quality

Dietary decisions are greatly governed by one’s eating habits. The aim of plant-based meats is to duplicate the flavour and texture of real meat, and recent progress in food science has made this possible.

Processing and Additives

Both real meats and plant based can be processed by using different additives and preservatives. The plant based meats are processed with oils, flavour enhancers and salts while the real meat is processed with curing agents and seasoning.


Consuming plant-based meat in moderation and complementing it with veggies, fruits, and other nutrient-dense foods can greatly support your health. 


1. Is plant-based meat more nutritious than meat?

Research shows that plant-based meat products are generally healthier than meat-based products. However, they can be higher in sugar and may not provide essential nutrients like real meat.

2. What are the disadvantages of plant-based meat?

Plant-based meat can undergo more extensive processing than animal meat. This results in a high content of sodium, saturated fat and added sugar.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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