Vegan Meat Substitutes: The Ultimate Guide
There are many reasons for eager to incorporate meat substitutes into your diet, albeit you’re not following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Eating less meat isn’t only better for your health but also for the environment. However, the abundance of meat substitutes makes it hard to understand which to select . Here’s the last word guide to picking a vegan meat replacement for any situation.
How to Choose
First, consider what function the vegan substitute serves in your meal. Are you trying to find protein, flavor or texture?
- If you’re using the vegan meat substitute because the main source of protein in your meal, then examine labels to seek out an option that contains protein.
- If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, search for nutrients that are typically low in these diets, like iron, vitamin B12 and calcium
- If you follow a special diet that forbids such things as gluten or soy, search for products that don’t contain these ingredients.
SUMMARY Reading the nutritional information and ingredients list on products is crucial to finding a product that meets your nutritional needs and diet.
Tofu has been a standby in vegetarian diets for many years and a staple in Asian cuisines for hundreds of years . While lacking flavor on its own, it takes on flavors of the opposite ingredients during a dish.
It’s made similarly to the way cheese is formed from cow’s milk— soy milk is coagulated, whereupon the curds that form are pressed into blocks.
Tofu are often made using agents, like calcium sulphate or magnesium chloride, which affect its nutritional profile. Additionally, some brands of tofu are fortified with nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12 and iron .
For example, 4 ounces (113 grams) of Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu contain :
- Calories: 60
- Carbs: 1.3 grams
- Protein: 11 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Calcium: 200 mg — 15% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Iron: 2 mg — 25% of the RDI for men and 11% for ladies
- Vitamin B12: 2.4 mcg — 100% of the RDI
If you’re concerned about GMOs, choose an organic product, since most soy produced within the US is genetically engineered (8).
Tofu are often cubed to be used during a stir-fry or crumbled as a replacement for eggs or cheese. Try it call at scrambled tofu or vegan lasagna.
SUMMARY: Tofu may be a versatile soy-based meat substitute that’s high in protein and should contain added nutrients like calcium and vitamin B12 that are important for a vegan diet. Products differ in nutrient content, so reading labels is vital .
Tempeh may be a traditional soy product made up of fermented soy. The soybeans are cultured and formed into cakes. Unlike tofu, which is formed from soy milk, tempeh is formed using the entire soybean, so it’s a special nutritional profile. It contains more protein, fiber and vitamins than tofu. Additionally, as a fermented food, it’s going to benefit digestive health
A half cup (83 grams) of tempeh contains :
- Calories: 160
- Carbs: 6.3 grams
- Protein: 17 grams
- Fat: 9 grams
- Calcium: 92 mg — 7% of the RDI
- Iron: 2 mg — 25% of the RDI for men and 11% for ladies
Tempeh is usually supplemented with grains like barley, so if you’re following a diet , make certain to read labels carefully.
Tempeh features a stronger flavor and firmer texture than tofu. It pairs well with peanut-based sauces and may be easily added to stir-fries or Thai salad.
SUMMARY: –Tempeh may be a vegan meat substitute made up of fermented soy. It’s high in protein and works well in stir-fries and other Asian dishes.
Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)
TVP may be a highly processed vegan meat substitute developed within the 1960s by food conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland.
It’s made by taking soybean meal — a byproduct of soy boring — and removing the fat using solvents. the top result’s a high-protein, low-fat product. The soybean meal is extruded into various shapes like nuggets and chunks. TVP are often purchased in dehydrated form. However, it’s more often found in processed, frozen, vegetarian products.
Nutritionally, a half cup (27 grams) of TVP contains :
- Calories: 93
- Carbs: 8.7 grams
- Protein: 14 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 0.9 grams
- Iron: 1.2 mg — 25% of the RDI for men and 11% for ladies
TVP is formed from conventional soy and certain contains GMOs since most soy produced within the US is genetically engineered.
TVP is flavorless on its own but can add a meaty texture to dishes like vegan chili.
SUMMARY: TVP may be a highly processed vegan meat substitute made up of the byproducts of soy oil. It’s high in protein and may provides a meaty texture to vegan recipes.
Seitan, or gluten , springs from gluten, the protein in wheat. It’s made by adding water to flour and removing the starch. Seitan is dense and chewy, with little flavor on its own. It’s often flavored with soy or other marinades. It are often found within the refrigerated section of the supermarket in forms like strips and chunks.
Seitan is high in protein, low in carbs and an honest source of iron.
Three ounces (91 grams) of seitan contain:
- Calories: 108
- Carbs: 4.8 grams
- Protein: 20 grams
- Fat: 1.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.2 grams
- Iron: 8 mg — 100% of the RDI for men and 44% for ladies
Beans are often utilized in soups, stews, burgers and lots of other recipes. choose a vegan Sloppy Joe made up of lentils subsequent time you would like a high-protein meal.
SUMMARY: Beans are a high-protein, high-fiber and high-iron whole food and vegan meat substitute. they will be utilized in soups, stews and burgers.
Popular Brands of Meat Substitutes
There are many meat substitutes on the market, making meat-free, high-protein meals exceedingly convenient.
However, not everything that’s meatless is necessarily vegan, so if you’re on a strict vegan diet, instead of just trying to find variety, it’s important to read labels carefully. Here may be a selection of companies that make popular meat substitutes, though not all focus strictly on vegan products.
Beyond Meat is one among the newer companies for meat substitutes. Their Beyond Burger is claimed to seem , cook and taste a bit like meat. Their products are vegan and freed from GMOs, gluten and soy.
The Beyond Burger is formed from pea protein, vegetable oil , copra oil , potato starch and other ingredients. One patty contains 270 calories, 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 30% of the RDI for iron. Beyond Meat also makes sausages, chicken substitutes and meat crumbles.
Gardein makes a spread of widely available, ready-to-use meat substitutes.
Their products include substitutes for chicken, beef, pork and fish, and range from burgers to strips to meatballs. Many of their items include sauces like teriyaki or mandarin orange flavoring.
The Ultimate Beefless Burger is formed from soy protein concentrate, gluten and lots of other ingredients. Each patty provides 140 calories, 15 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 15% of the RDI for iron.
Gardein’s products are certified vegan and dairy free; however, it’s unknown whether or not they use GMO ingredients. While their path of products includes gluten, Gardein does make a gluten-free line also .
Tofurky, famous for his or her Thanksgiving roast, produces meat substitutes, including sausages, deli slices and ground meat. Their products are made up of tofu and gluten , in order that they are unsuitable for gluten- or soy-free diets.
Just one of their Original Italian Sausages contains 280 calories, 30 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat and 20% of the RDI for iron. Therefore, while they’re a high-protein option, they’re also high in calories. Their products are non-GMO verified and vegan.
Yves Veggie Cuisine
Yves Veggie Cuisine vegan products include burgers, deli slices, hot dogs and sausages, also as ground “beef” and “sausage.”
Their Veggie Ground Round is formed from “soy protein product,” “wheat protein product” and lots of other ingredients, including added vitamins and minerals.
One-third cup (55 grams) contains 60 calories, 9 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 20% of the RDI for iron. Some of their products appear to be non-GMO verified, whereas others don’t have that certification. Their products are made with both soy and wheat, making them improper for those on soy- or gluten-free diets.
Lightlife, a long-established meat substitute company, makes burgers, deli slices, hot dogs and sausages, also as ground “beef” and “sausage.” They also produce frozen meals and meatless jerky.
Their Gimme Lean Veggie Ground is formed from textured soy protein concentrate. It also contains gluten , although it appears farther down the ingredient list.
Two ounces (56 grams) have 60 calories, 8 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 6% of the RDI for iron. Their products are non-GMO verified and authorized vegan. As their foods are made with both soy and wheat, they ought to be avoided by those that don’t consume these ingredients.
Owned by Kraft, Boca products are widely available meat substitutes, though not all are vegan. the road includes burgers, sausages, “meat” crumbles and more.
They’re highly processed, made up of soy protein concentrate, gluten , hydrolyzed corn protein and vegetable oil , amidst an extended list of other ingredients.
Many of their products contain cheese, which isn’t vegan. Furthermore, the cheese contains enzymes which aren’t vegetarian-sourced.
Read labels carefully, to make sure you’re buying a very vegan Boca product if you’re following a vegan lifestyle.
One Boca Chik’n Vegan Patty (71 grams) has 150 calories, 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 10% of the RDI for iron.
Boca Burgers contain soy and corn, which are likely from genetically engineered sources, though they need some clearly marked non-GMO products.
MorningStar Farms, owned by Kellogg, claims to be “America’s #1 veggie burger brand,” likely due more to its wide availability instead of its taste or nutritional content (22).
They make several flavors of veggie burgers, chicken substitutes, veggie hot dogs, veggie bowls, meal starters and breakfast “meats.”
While the bulk of their products aren’t vegan, they are doing offer vegan burgers.
For example, their Meat Lovers vegan burgers are made up of various vegetable oils, gluten , soy protein isolate, soybean meal and other ingredients (23).
One burger (113 grams) has 280 calories, 27 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 10% of the RDI for iron.
Not all their products are certified to be free from GMO ingredients, though the Meat Lovers vegan burger is formed from non-GMO soy.
Morningstar products have both soy- and wheat-based ingredients, so shouldn’t be eaten by soy- or gluten-free individuals.
Quorn makes vegetarian meat substitutes out of mycoprotein, a fermented fungus found in soil. While mycoprotein appears to be safe for consumption, there are several reports of allergic and gastrointestinal symptoms after eating Quorn products.
Quorn products include grounds, tenders, patties and cutlets. While most of their products are made with egg whites, they are doing provide vegan options. Their Vegan Naked Chick’n Cutlets are made up of mycoprotein, potato protein and pea fiber and have added flavorings, carrageenan and gluten .
One cutlet (63 grams) has 70 calories, 10 grams of protein and three grams of fiber. Some Quorn products are certified non-GMO, but others aren’t .
While Quorn is formed from a singular protein source, many of the products also contain egg whites and gluten , so make certain to read the labels carefully if you’re on a special diet.
SUMMARY: There are many popular brands of meat substitutes on the market. However, many contain wheat, soy and GMO ingredients, and not all are vegan, so read labels carefully to seek out an appropriate product for your diet.
What to Avoid
People with food allergies or intolerances may have to read labels carefully so as to avoid ingredients like gluten, dairy, soy, eggs and corn.
Furthermore, don’t assume a product is vegan simply because it’s meatless. Many meatless products include eggs, dairy and natural flavors sourced from animal products and enzymes, which can include animal rennet .
While many organic and non-GMO certified products exist, those most generally available, like Morning Star Farms and Boca Burgers, are likely made with genetically engineered corn and soy.
Additionally, like most processed foods, many vegan meat substitutes are high in sodium, so make certain to read labels if you watch your sodium intake.
A healthy diet is predicated around minimally processed foods, so take care of long lists of ingredients crammed with words you don’t recognize.
SUMMARY:– Choose vegan meat substitutes that are minimally processed, with recognizable ingredients. Avoid highly processed items that aren’t verified to be free from animal products.
The Bottom Line
These days, many vegan meat substitutes are available, both from natural and processed sources. The nutritional profile of those products varies greatly, so choose them supported your own dietary and nutritional needs. With numerous options to settle on from, finding vegan meat substitutes that suit your needs should be straightforward.