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What is Meat?
Edible parts of animals are termed as meat. People eat the meat of birds, animals, sea creatures, etc. Meat is designated as a complete food which consists of a lot of protein. The fat included in the meat is also beneficial as it is a great source of energy. The sources of vitamins are the liver, heart, kidneys, etc. The digestion process of meat is slow. Fat digestion slows down the digestion of other things. Beef, veal, lamb, sheep, goat, and chicken are some of the popular sources of meat. People also consume meat of pigs.
Why Meat alternatives?
Meat is considered as a very good food if it is consumed moderately. High amount of meat consumption can lead to many issues. Some of the disadvantages of consuming meat are as follows −
Consumption of meat can lead to heart disease
Some meats like pork can lead to cancer
Meat consumption can cause blockage which can result in heart stroke
Meat consumption can lead to diabetes
Another problem caused due to meat is obesity
How to choose a Meat Alternative?
There are many advantages of meat consumption. People who want to avoid meat can go for its alternatives. These alternatives should provide the following benefits of meat −
Rich source of protein
Provides many nutrients useful for the body
Provides iodine that is helpful in increasing the production of the thyroid hormone
Provides iron to circulate oxygen inside the body
Omega 3 which helps in improving heart and brain health
Top 10 Meat Alternatives
There are many alternatives to meat and we will discuss some of them in detail.
Alternative 1 – Tofu
Tofu is considered as one of the best meat alternatives which provides a lot of nutrition to the people who consume it. It is a low-calorie food item that is a rich source of protein. Tofu has the property of absorbing aromas easily. Different variants of tofu are available in the market and they include:
Other varieties are marinated with spices and
Soya beans are soaked and mashed with water to form a puree. This puree is filtered to separate the liquid. Which is heated and then curdled. The liquid is now solidified and the resultant item is known as tofu. The product is cut into slabs. The leftover solid is used to make cutlets, chunks, and mince.
Alternative 2 – Tempeh
Tempeh is a plant which consists of a lot of protein. It is a soybean-based product which is being consumed in Indonesia for thousands of years. Whole soya beans are cooked and fermented and then made into a form of patties. These patties can be grilled, fried, or cooked in a barbecue sauce. It is a good provider of protein and fiber. it is less processed and has a texture of meat.
Alternative 3 – Soya Protein
Soya chunks and mince consist of dehydrated soya When these ingredients are mixed with water, they can be used as a replacement for meat. Soya is sold in the form of balls, mince, or cutlets. Tofu is also made with soya and can be sold in the form of marinades and spice mixtures. Soya can be used to make vegetarian burgers, meatballs, and many others.
Alternative 4 – Lentils
Lentils have a chewy texture and is used in combination with many meals which includes meat. Lentils are a good source of protein and they can also help in improving the digestive system. Lentils can be accompanied by different types of sauces and seasonings. It can replace ground beef in many recipes.
Alternative 5 – Seitan
Seitan is a protein that is available in wheat It can be prepared easily and has the same consistency as that of meat. In order to prepare it, wash the wheat flour dough with water till the time starch granules are separated and only gluten is left. It can be boiled, baled, or steamed to give a texture same like meat. Seitan is used in making different types of dishes like cutlets, sausages, and many more.
Alternative 6 – Beans
Beans are of different types which include black beans, aduki beans, chickpeas, and many more. These beans are rich in protein and can become an important part of meals. Besides protein, beans are an important source of vitamin B9. This vitamin is used by the body to make new cells. This vitamin is important for women who are pregnant. Beans are also a good source of fiber.
Alternative 7 – Lupin Protein
Lupin is a legume and is rich in protein. It is considered as one of the meat alternatives. Lupins can be easily cultivated in Europe. As the climate is ideal. Foods that include lupin protein are kebabs, cutlets, sausages, and many more.
Alternative 8 – Mycoprotein
Mycoprotein is not a popular replacement for meat. This food is made from Fusarium venenatum which is a natural fungus. The taste of this plant meat is very good. This meat comes with a lot of nutrients which include vitamin D, zinc, and a lot of protein more than chicken. The texture of mycoprotein is the same as meat and it can be used to make sausages similar to beef and chicken. It is less processed in comparison to other meats.
Alternative 9 – Green Spelt
Green Spelt is a wheat species whose harvesting is done when it has not ripened fully. After harvesting, these grains are dried and roasted. So that their life span can be increased. This food grain is a good source of vitamin B complex. Along with this, green spelt also has phosphorus and magnesium. Semolina derived from this green spelt can be used to make patties, cutlet, and many other foods.
Alternative 10 – Jackfruit
Jackfruit is a vegetable which is grown in South America, Asia, and Africa. It is considered as the largest fruit in the world and its weight can go up to 40 pounds. If you consume ripe jackfruit, its taste will be sweet. Less ripe jackfruit can be cooked with different types of sauces. Fiber and starch are the main nutrients for this fruit. Its texture is the same as meat and can become a part of a healthy diet.
Meat is a good source of protein, vitamin, carbohydrates, and fat. If its consumption is raised, it can lead to heart diseases, cancer, indigestion, obesity, and other problems. There are many alternatives to meat which have the same texture but have more nutrients
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