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Top 5 Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

22 April 2020|Nutrition

Eating plant-based is not only good for your health but also better for the planet, and more and more people are deciding to eat less meat. At Orangefit, we're thrilled to see that!

If you're also looking to reduce or eliminate animal products from your diet, it's essential to replace them with vegetarian or vegan alternatives. This way, you ensure you still get the right nutrients (proteins, calcium, iron, zinc, and B-vitamins) when transitioning to a more plant-based diet.

There are now numerous ready-made meat substitutes, ground "meat," burgers, schnitzels, etc. available, but they're not always the healthiest choice. In this article, we'll explain why and provide our top 5 plant-based meat alternatives that are healthier than these processed products.

Ready-made Meat Alternatives: Not the Best Option

Meat alternatives are incredibly popular nowadays and make it easier for many people to shift to a more plant-based diet. However, many of these ready-made meat alternatives are not as healthy because they often contain high levels of salt, saturated fats, and other sugars and additives.

"But are there no healthy meat alternatives?" Fortunately, there certainly are.

If you want a healthy meat substitute, it's best to check that it contains not too much salt (<1.1g) or saturated fat (<2.5g) per 100 grams and has sufficient protein (approx. 10-20g).

Below are our top 5 plant-based meat alternatives:

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1. Tofu and Tempeh (Soy)

Soy products like tofu and tempeh have been staples in Asian kitchens for years.

Tofu is coagulated soy milk that is then pressed together. It doesn't have much flavor on its own, but it excels at absorbing other tastes and ingredients in a dish.

You can use tofu in stir-fries or crumble it as a substitute for eggs or cheese, in scrambled tofu, or in a veg(an) lasagna.

It's rich in proteins, and most tofu is also enriched with essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, and iron.

On the other hand, tempeh is made from whole, fermented soybeans and has a much stronger, distinctive taste and more texture than tofu.

Like tofu, tempeh is high in protein and works well in Asian stir-fries, paired with tahini or peanut dressing, such as in a Thai salad.

    2. Seitan

    Seitan is made from wheat protein (gluten) and is generally less known as a meat substitute.

    However, it's an excellent replacement (except for those on a gluten-free diet) due to its high protein content and plant-based iron.

    It can be used as a substitute for meat or chicken in almost any recipe.

    You might not find seitan in regular supermarkets, but it's widely available in most organic stores.

      3. Chickpeas

      Chickpeas are incredibly nutritious. They're rich in proteins, vitamins, iron, minerals, and fiber, and they're also an excellent source of low-calorie carbohydrates.

      You can get creative with chickpeas and turn them into (sweet) hummus, falafel balls, or use them as a meat substitute in a curry or vegetable dish.

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