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Good meat substitutes

  1. More and more people are nowadays (semi-) vegetarians. Sometimes for health reasons: people want to lose weight or do something about high cholesterol. Others will do it because a good piece of meat has become quite expensive and the meat substitutes are often cheaper. And still others do it in protest against the meat industry and the way it appears to be dealing with animal welfare and public health. Whatever your reasons for not eating meat for a day on a regular basis or even cutting it out of your diet completely, you don't have to go hungry without meat!

  1. In response to the growing consumer demand for meat substitutes, various companies in the food industry have added alternatives to meat to their range and meat substitutes are also taking up more and more space on supermarket shelves.

Vegetable proteins and other ingredients

  1. A meat substitute is made from vegetable proteins and other ingredients. One of the most commonly used ingredients is soy, which is known to have beneficial effects on our health. Thus, it lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. In addition, soy proteins provide us with all 9 essential amino acids and are packed with isoflavones, which protect us against breast and prostate cancer. Soy also causes our body to secrete less calcium and therefore reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

  1. Some meat substitutes taste and look like real meat, while others have their own unique flavor and texture. In general, meat substitutes are less fat than real meat and provide us with a lot of protein, iron and B vitamins.

  1. The first meat substitute dates back to 1922 and was developed in Tennessee, USA. Soybean meat it was called. Today there are hundreds of different brands and products of meat substitutes. The market for vegetarians and flexitarians (a new term for people who eat partly vegetarian food) has therefore been growing strongly for several decades.

  1. Below an overview of the most popular meat substitutes:

1. Tofu

  1. Probably one of the best known meat substitutes. Made from soy beans and soy milk. The texture can range from firm, for baking and frying, to soft, for dips, sauces and desserts.

  1. The health benefits:

  1. Made from soybeans and grains. A classic in Indonesian cuisine. Firm in texture and with a delicious, nutty taste. A good alternative to chicken.

  1. The health benefits:

  1. In Asia this has been used for hundreds of years. They are actually gluten rich in proteins made from rinsed flour and dough. Also called grain meat. Available in health food stores and Asian food stores.

4. Vegetable Protein Texture (PPT)

  1. This was one of the first meat substitutes on the market, made from soybean flour and cooked to mimic the texture of meat. Available in health food stores or some supermarkets and much cheaper than meat. It absorbs the flavor of herbs and dressings well due to its spongy texture.

  1. The health benefits:

  1. Made from mycoproteins, a protein from the mushroom family that combines with protein and vegetable flavors to give it the texture and flavor of meat. Easily absorbs flavors. Available in many varieties such as burgers, fillets, bacon and sandwich fillings.

  1. The health benefits:

  1. Do you know of any other healthy meat substitutes? And what is your opinion about the meat substitutes that we listed above? Are they tasty and a really good alternative to meat? Let us all know in a comment!

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