They tried for years to make plant-based meat that has the same texture and consistency as real meat. Until now, it hasn't worked out so well. But the introduction of some new technologies and new processes have created something incredibly close.
But, are these healthy?
Some say yes, that anything plant-based is healthier than real meat. Others say no, that choosing whole food over processed foods is better. Let's take a look.
What's In Plant-Based Meat?
Plant-based processed foods are not meat. They are a meat substitute, used in a similar way to how you would use regular meat. They look and taste as close as possible to real meat.
The biggest drawback of plant substitutes is the ability to mimic the texture of muscle meat. Plants tend to turn very smooth when processed. As a result, they can't hold on to the textured feelings of the striations found in whole meat.
New chemical processes have allowed manufacturers to create the sensation. Debate ranges right now about what these chemical additives are, and are they really safe or healthy to consume, and the one thing the manufacturers will agree on is that this is a processed food product.
For people looking to eat healthier and reduce chemicals and processing, these plant-based meats are not a healthy substitute.
And then comes the question of why people are seeking out these substitutes. Is it for health reasons? Ethical reasons? Some people even say it's to reduce the carbon footprint.
However, it's not clear yet whether these are healthier substitutes. As for reducing the carbon footprint, the manufacturing process of all the chemicals and farming techniques for the vegetables is about the same as creating real meat.
And we don't know the ethical repercussions as no one has looked into the number of animals killed during commercial farming processes to obtain the vegetables to make the products, nor at the human rights for the people who manufacture the chemicals.
So, what's your reason?
Why Plant Based Meats Are Bad For Your Skin
Your skin requires protein, real protein to be healthy. All foods contain protein, even plants. But, they don't contain the proteins we need in their correct amounts for us to be healthy on a plant-based diet.
That's why vegetarians and vegans have books, charts, and spend a lot of time doing calculations trying to figure out the protein requirements.
And still, many don't get the number right. In the long-term, consuming plant-based protein exclusively robs your body of the necessary components for collagen, keratin, and elastin the keep your skin looking young and healthy.
In alternative meats, heavy processing destroys the quality protein. Although you have a high number listed on the side of the package, your body does not recognize these denatured and destroyed proteins as something that used to build healthy skin and tissue throughout your body.
When a person doesn't have enough quality protein, their skin gets saggy, wrinkled, and a papery texture. The elastin and keratin in the skin cannot maintain the soft and smooth appearance of younger skin.
Fortunately, our body replaces itself quickly, the skin taking about three weeks to look new and refreshed. By taking a good supplement or eating meat, you can help resupply your body with the needed proteins and begin seeing results within three weeks.
What's The Real Healthy Alternative?
Choosing to eat healthier is good. Looking for an easy replacement that's filled with chemicals is not.
If you take a look at the ingredient list on the back of some of these alternative meats, you'll probably be horrified by the long list of ingredients.
Fortunately, you do have better choices for real, whole cuts of meat.
Organic meats avoid the growth hormones and large amounts of antibiotics used in factory settings. This will automatically help you be healthier.
Choose grass-fed and free-range meats that allow the animals to live a more natural life. Various organizations also certify humane and ethical treatment of animals.
Or seek out local farms and establish a friendship. Many smaller farms will allow you to buy specific cuts or a part or whole animal for your specific use. Then, you have say over how that animal is raised. Not only will you be getting healthier meat, you'll be contributing to better farming practices and ethical treatment.
Alternative meats are a good idea, but not very healthy for you. The long list of ingredients and heavy processing ruin all of the good qualities.