The meat substitute often was something that contained soy a few years ago. Nowadays, the label regularly states that the meat substitute includes seaweed, jackfruit, mushrooms, or legumes. A good twist? And how healthy are these meat alternatives in reality?
The number of meat substitutes is large and continues to grow. “We are seeing the trend towards flexible eating is increasing,” says Carine Fortanier, responsible for meat alternatives at Albert Heijn, among other things. “Not only in Randstad, but from northeastern Groningen to Limburg.” In total, there are now 160 products for sale in AH, including fish substitutes.
A spokesperson for rival Jumbo said, “The transition to a more balanced and sustainable diet” is also in the spotlight. “Last fall, Jumbo Lekker introduced Veggie, its new private label line of vegetarian and vegan products, as the successor to the successful Veggie Chef.”
The current varieties of AH are ground beef, chicken nuggets, tofu, tempeh, balls, and burgers. Fortanier: “meat alternatives are traditionally made from soybeans, but now you see more and more ingredients like beans, seaweed, jackfruit, mushrooms and chickpeas. This also gives a different taste. That’s great, then our customers have more options. They offer different texture, texture and taste experience.” Fortanier himself loves to serve up beet burgers.
Jumbo now has a botanical collection of over forty different products. Within this range, cheese schnitzel (cheese and corn chips), ground meat (soy), crunchy chicken schnitzel (soybean), and shawarma (soybean) are especially popular today.
Vegetable chefs love to use meaty jackfruit in dishes that traditionally contain chicken.
According to the dietitian, the focus is primarily on proteins and very little on fiber
In addition to soy – which still plays a major role in vegetables – you see more and more wheat-based meat alternatives, nuts, beans, seaweed, jackfruit, mushrooms, and chickpeas. How true is this development? Vegetable dietitian Lobke Faasen believes the focus is often on proteins. “In health care, proteins seem to be the answer to everything, while fresh fruit is seldom found in healthcare institutions. This is, while we eat very little fiber, which is specifically found in fruits and vegetables.”
“If you compare a meat substitute with brown beans, the meat substitute won’t win. Beans contain a lot of fiber.”
Lobke Faasen, a vegan dietitian
However, these proteins are essential for the production of meat substitutes, Vasin teaches. “I am not an expert in food technology, but I know that for this ‘bite’ you need certain structures. For a meat substitute to taste like meat in terms of texture, you need proteins.”
Not necessarily for your health, as the Dutch are eating More than enough protein. “On average, we eat 50 percent more protein than we need. What a lot of people don’t know is that too much protein also has health consequences, for example because it’s too stressful for your kidneys.”
“Meat alternatives are not healthier than beans”
How healthy is the meat substitute? Faasen: “If you compare the meat alternative to beans, the meat substitute won’t win. Beans contain a lot of fiber.” It doesn’t matter if you zoom out and look at the entire Earth. “Ultimately, it matters what you choose,” says dietitian Vasen. “If a product makes the planet unhealthy, you have to take that into account.”
Quorn’s makers saw this well in the 1970s when Marlow Foods discovered mushrooms with a “fat” structure. The ingredient Mycoprotein is used to this day. Quorn is the most popular product in the UK due to its low CO2 emissions.
The mutual differences between the meat alternatives are great
The mutual differences between meat alternatives are also great. Faasen: “As a general rule, if meat is processed, such as sausage or shawarma, the meat substitute is more salty and creamy. Also look at the ingredients list. The fewer ingredients, the more pure and therefore the less processed ..”
Even if the meat substitute sometimes contains many ingredients, it is always better to treat yourself to your Beyond Meat burger, for example, you think. “The World Health Organization has classified red and processed meat as a food that increases the risk of colon cancer.”
According to the location Vegetarian hop Drawn oats from the Gold & Green brand are the healthiest. In the test, which was shown online on Wednesday, the product stands out due to its taste, nutritional value and variety. The “real influencer” is the opinion of the committee that blindly tastes the products.