Considering vegan meat? Experts say it may be worse than eating real meat

Study reveals why vegan meat may not be best alternative to traditional meat

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Vegan may be detrimental to heart health because of high salt and saturated fats content. — Health My Lifestyle
Vegan may be detrimental to heart health because of high salt and saturated fats content. — Health My Lifestyle

If you are planning to turn to a vegan diet, think again because researchers, in a recent study, have found that vegan products do not provide clear benefits for heart health.

The study highlights the unjustifiable "health halo" surrounding plant-based meats and urges the food industry to re-evaluate the development of next-generation meat alternatives, Daily Mail reported.

An experiment involving 82 participants at risk for type two diabetes has indicated that plant-based meat products may not offer any substantial health benefits over traditional meats.

Conducted over eight weeks, the study divided participants into two dietary groups: one consuming regular meat and the other plant-based alternatives such as Impossible Beef and Beyond Meat.

Scientists suggest real meat may be a little better than vegan. — Pexels
Scientists suggest real meat may be a little better than vegan. — Pexels

Initial and subsequent blood tests assessed the volunteers’ cardiometabolic health, alongside real-time blood sugar monitoring.

The findings, published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that there were no significant differences in key cardiovascular disease risk factors between the two groups.

While dietary cholesterol levels decreased in both groups, those consuming plant-based meats experienced a 42.5% increase in sodium intake, unlike their meat-eating counterparts who saw a reduction.

Additionally, modest improvements in blood pressure were noted only in meat-eating group.

Dr Sumanto Haldar, a nutrition science lecturer at Bournemouth University and study co-author, criticised the current generation of plant-based meats for being highly processed and often laden with salt, saturated fats, and additives.

He emphasised the need for the food industry to innovate and produce healthier and more affordable meat alternatives that align better with the well-known health benefits of a traditional plant-based diet comprised of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

He said: "This gives an impetus for the food industry to re-evaluate the development of the next generation of meat alternative products, so that they not only taste good, but also have improved nutritional attributes and are more affordable for the entire population."


Disclaimer: This may not work for everyone. Consult your doctor before trying this out.