Plant meat alternatives are being promoted more and more each day. I am often asked by consumers, those online, and our community if plant patties are “healthier”.
In short, NO. This is not my opinion this is what researchers who assessed cooked samples of both plant and beef patties found in their analysis. The nutrition facts label also does not illustrate the key nutrient differences. The plant and beef patties differ in terms of salt, cholesterol, calories, protein content, carbohydrate, texture, moisture content, flavor, and price!
- Researchers cooked samples and analyzed the samples suggesting a more clear and thorough breakdown. The researchers assess nutrients and categorized the amino acids making up the proteins and various metabolites found within both the plant patty and beef patty samples.
*I recently was at the ISSN conference and was motivated to do this blog. Check the data that was exclusively shared from a presentation on plant-based meats!
What did they find?
According to the metabolomics comparison, there’s a large nutritional difference!
- This heat map illustrates just how different the impossible meat and beef patties are at the metabolite level.
- Of the 171 out of 190 annotated metabolites (90%) were different between beef and the plant-based alternative.
- Beef has creatinine, hydroxyproline, and glucosamine, (marked with the red arrows), none of which are found in the plant-based alternative.
- Bioavailability MATTERS. Just because a component is found in food doesn’t mean that it is digested and or available to us.
- Iron in meat is far more available than the usual iron supplement. Equivalent amounts of iron on the nutritional label do not necessarily translate into equal amounts of iron in you.
Plant versus Beef?
The ingredients in a plant patty?
- Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Methylcellulose, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Yeast Extract, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), L-Tryptophan, Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamins and Minerals (Zinc Gluconate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12). Product contains an allium derivative
- Price per 8 oz serving = $6.97
The ingredients in a beef patty?
Price per 8 oz serving = $3.62
*Best foods to gain strength and lose fat! Click here
- Researchers conclude that plant-based meat alternatives are not interchangeable with meat; they complement one another.
- Beef is superior to plant “meat”
- Beef contains > more bioavailable protein, iron, zinc, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, pantothenate, magnesium, and potassium than plant “burgers”.
- Beef is a lower cost per serving and offers more nutrients that are bioavailable.
- The NUTRITION LABEL DOES NOT TELL ALL!!
- In case you missed my post on plant-based alternative “milk” click here to learn more!
- Plant and animal protein bar list
- Here’s a FREE grocery list to get you and your family started with healthy choices!
In good faith, health, and athletic performance,
Wendi A. Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LD , CISSN
Wendi is a registered dietitian nutritionist and performance coach. Wendi utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. She partners with high schools, colleges, sports performance staff, individuals, and families! Wendi and her team offer custom fueling plans, group coaching, presentations, and team talks nationwide!
Wendi provides virtual services including telehealth but is based in Nashville, TN. Wendi works with clients of all levels internationally.
- Purchase Wendi’s Performance Nutrition Guidebook!
- Group athlete coaching services
- Contact Wendi to learn more about the Performance Nutrition Partnership
Citations and resources to learn more:
Source: A metabolomics comparison of plant‑based meat and grass‑fed meat indicates large nutritional differences despite comparable Nutrition Facts panels Nature Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-93100-3