Below we share a list of foods you can use as a replacement to meat.
Tofu is an amazing meat substitute and is abundant in nutrients
Meat is considered good for us due to its various nutritional benefits. It is a rich source of high-quality protein, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. However, there are good substitutes to meat available for individuals who choose to follow vegetarian or vegan diets, or for those who simply want to reduce their meat consumption. Read on as we share a list of foods you can use as a replacement to meat.
10 Vegetarian foods that are great substitutes to meat:
Tofu is made from soybeans and is a versatile meat substitute due to its high protein content, similar texture, and ability to absorb flavours. It is nutrient-dense, low in calories, and contains all essential amino acids.
Another soy-based product, tempeh offers a chewy texture and nutty flavour. It is high in protein, fibre, and vitamins, including B12. Additionally, tempeh contains prebiotics that can enhance digestion.
Seitan, also known as wheat meat or vital wheat gluten, is made from gluten protein. It has a meat-like texture and can be seasoned to resemble various types of meat. Seitan is a good source of protein but may not be suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.
Lentils, beans, and chickpeas are nutritional powerhouses. They offer a high amount of protein, fibre, and essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and folate. These foods are versatile and can be used in various dishes such as soups, stews, salads, or even as burger patties.
Quinoa is a seed but often considered a grain due to its texture and uses. It contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein. Quinoa is also rich in fibre, minerals like magnesium and zinc, and antioxidants, contributing to overall health.
Mushrooms have a meaty texture and umami flavour, making them great substitutes. They are low in calories, rich in antioxidants, and contain vitamins such as B-complex vitamins and vitamin D (when exposed to sunlight).
Jackfruit’s fibrous texture and mild flavour lend themselves well to replacing pulled pork or shredded chicken. It is high in fibre, low in calories, and contains vitamins A, C, and potassium.
8. Nutritional yeast
Often used as a cheese substitute, nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast with a cheesy, nutty flavour. It is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and minerals like zinc and selenium.
9. Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds are a complete source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. They are also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and minerals such as magnesium. Hemp seeds can be sprinkled on salads, incorporated into smoothies, or used in baking.
10. Chia seeds
Chia seeds, when soaked, form a gel-like consistency that can replace eggs or enhance the texture of certain dishes. They are packed with fibre, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds also contribute to satiety and aid in digestion.
These foods make good substitutes because they provide adequate protein, essential nutrients, and fulfil the taste and texture expectations of meat. They are generally lower in saturated fats and cholesterol while being rich in fibre and vitamins.
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