What are the benefits and harms of plant-based meat in Australia?

Vegetarian meat has spread widely in Australia recently, and here came the role of new research to discover its benefits and harms.

Findings from the George Institute for Global Health show that while they are generally healthier than processed meats, they can be higher in sugar and lack important nutrients.

Lead author Maria Shaheed said that despite the growing popularity of plant-based meat alternatives, which people desire for health reasons, there is little evidence of the actual health impact of these products.

Where healthy alternatives remain are lean meats, legumes and beans.

In the meantime, demand for plant-based meat analogues is growing, with estimates suggesting that sales in Australia will reach around $3 billion by 2030.

And while the protein content was similar in both groups, the plant-based meat counterparts, on average, contained significantly less saturated fat and sodium, as well as more fiber than meat products.

But of the 132 plant-based meat analogues analysed, only 12 percent had been fortified with the essential health-giving nutrients found in meat, such as iron, vitamin B12 and zinc.

It should be noted that, according to a nutritionist, most of these foods have been linked to various types of cancer, so consumers are advised to add these foods to a minimum in their diet.

In conclusion, one of the most important tips is to consume animal proteins such as eggs, cheese, milk, and yogurt, in addition to plant sources rich in iron, including vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.



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