Can vegans eat beyond meat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can vegans eat beyond meat?” and will discuss why beyond meat is ok for vegans to eat and will also discuss the brands that produce vegan meats.

Can vegans eat beyond meat?

Yes, vegans can eat beyond meat. Beyond meat is purely made of plant proteins without any trace of animal product that’s why it is suitable for vegan. Science and food nutrition advances have made it possible for vegans to consume succulent, delicate meat that was previously considered science fiction.

The global projections on the plant-based meat market are projected to increase from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $85 billion in 2030 (1).

What is veganism?

Plants and beans are the mainstays of veganism. Although a vegan diet may be monotonous, it may entice the consumer to abandon their vegan goals in favor of the carnivorous tastes that surround them. New vegans often feel this way throughout the transition period. The most obvious choice for the formulation of meat analogue is comprised of unprocessed and processed protein ingredients, carbohydrate ingredients, lipid ingredients, flavor enhancers, and colors (1).

 Veganism, on the other hand, is more than just a way of life. It’s a way of living and a way of eating that emphasizes the conservation of animals and nature (1). Consequently, science has done the unthinkable by creating meatless meat to assist vegans to remain awake and focused on their vegan path so that they never raise a finger of doubt towards their vegan objective and to promote veganism among meat-eaters.

When properly planned and executed, vegan diets may be an important component of a healthy lifestyle. The important elements protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 may be lacking in vegan diets, just as they would be in any diet that excludes certain food categories (2).

What is meatless meat?

In other words, it’s meat that doesn’t have any meat in it. It was created primarily to provide vegans with the meaty taste and texture they are missing from their diets. There aren’t many choices for vegans when it comes to fast food or junk food. If you want a cheat day treat, you may have some crispy fries or roast vegetables if you’re a vegan.

But all of that is in the past now, of course. Science has advanced to the point that vegetarians may now purchase animal substitutes. All of the ingredients in this meat are derived from plants or soy protein. This kind of meat is made without the usage of any animals or animal products. Despite the fact that meatless meat is devoid of any animal products, it has been crafted to resemble genuine meat in terms of softness and texture.  Plant-based burger patties have been developed that create a meat-eating experience designed to mimic the taste and texture of beef, going beyond the veggie burgers of the past. In addition, there have been substantial investments in the development of plant-based and lab-grown meats in recent years (3).

 Meatless meat substitutes

Meatless meat substitutes come in two varieties, both of which are excellent choices for vegans.

Impossible burgers

It’s a plant-based burger that offers vegans a meaty taste without being a meat alternative to traditional beef patties. Investigating the Impossible Burger’s components reveals that no animals or animal-derived items are used in its production.

 Potato protein and soy protein are the main components of the Impossible Burger. As a result, these components are cooked in a manner that makes them look and taste like beef. People are likely to think that the Impossible Burger is made of real meat since it looks so similar to a standard hamburger. That isn’t the case, however. Patties made with Impossible Burger ingredients have a pink center, which gives them more taste and makes them easy to find in grocery stores and restaurants.

Impossible Burger uses plant-based heme as the key ingredient to create a meaty flavor and appearance. This approach uses a genetically engineered yeast to produce soy leghemoglobin, a protein which carries heme. Heme is naturally present in conventional beef and is thought to impart a distinctive meat-like flavor (3).

The ingredients of an Impossible burger are wheat protein, coconut oil, potato protein and soy. A 113 g patty contains 19 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol (14 g total fat), 25% the daily value of iron (1).

The beyond meat

Beyond Meat has established a name for itself in the vegan community by offering plant-based burger patties that are suitable for vegans. There are several similarities between the Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger components.

Color is imparted by the primary component that distinguishes one meatless meat burger patties from another. To give the burger patties a meaty red color, the Impossible Burger utilizes soy leghemoglobin, while Beyond Meat uses beans. Beyond burger, one of the popular veggie burger patties, is made with plant-based protein (pea protein) and beet juice resulting in a burger that ‘bleeds’ like a traditional beef burger (3).

 By tasting the Beyond Meat burger, we can see that the vegetable component is dominant, which gives vegans peace of mind regarding the patty’s plant-based origins. The Beyond Meat burger patties are just as juicy and tender as the Impossible burger, with just a tiny difference in texture. They’re a great alternative to meat burgers. These patties are readily available at any grocery shop or café.

The ingredients found in the Beyond burger are pea protein isolate, canola oil, refined coconut oil, sunflower oil, cellulose from bamboo, potato starch, beet juice and citrus fruit extract. A 113 g patty contains 20 g protein, 18 g total fat, iron 22%, sodium 350 mg, potassium 280 mg, calcium 100 mg, carbohydrate 5 g, dietary fiber 2 g and zero sugar (1). 

Is beyond meat® healthier than beef?

Beyond Meat’s plant-based products were used in a recent clinical trial, the results of which were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

According to a Stanford University study, participants who switched from animal to plant-based meat had better cholesterol (including LDL) and heart disease risk factors (including TMAO levels) and were lighter when they did so. The researchers found that switching from animal to plant-based meat had a positive impact on these health metrics. However, they also inform that many of the new meat alternatives, such as Beyond Meat, have relatively high levels of saturated fat and added sodium and are considered highly processed food (4).

A study compared the nutritional profile of meat substitutes with real meat. Results showed that plant-based meats tended to be lower in kilojoules and in saturated fat than animal meat varieties. As expected, plant-based products were higher in carbohydrates, sugars and dietary fiber. Sodium in plant-based mince was approximately six times higher than the sodium of meat mince, however the reverse was true for sausages, where meat sausages contained 66% more than the plant-based sausages. There was no difference in iron content of mince or sausages, while iron content was not reported in meat burgers, so no comparison was possible with plant-based burgers (5).

Other FAQs about Vegans that you may be interested in.

Can you eat fish on a vegan diet?

d’vegan menu

Can vegans eat cheese?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can vegans eat beyond meat?” and discussed why beyond meat is ok for vegans to eat, and also discussed the brands that produce vegan meats.

References

  1. Singh, Meenakshi, et al. Plant-based meat analogue (PBMA) as a sustainable food: A concise review. Euro Food Res Technol, 2021, 247, 2499-2526.
  2. Richter, Margrit, et al. Vegan diet. Position of the German nutrition society (DGE). Ernahrungs umschau, 2016, 63, 92-102.
  3. Van Loo, Ellen J., Vincenzina Caputo, and Jayson L. Lusk. Consumer preferences for farm-raised meat, lab-grown meat, and plant-based meat alternatives: Does information or brand matter?. Food Policy, 2020, 95, 101931.  
  4. Armitage, Hanae. Plant-based meat lowers some cardiovascular risk factors compared with red meat, study finds. Stanford Medicine, News Center, 2020, 11.
  5. Curtain, Felicity, and Sara Grafenauer. Plant-based meat substitutes in the flexitarian age: an audit of products on supermarket shelves. Nutrients, 2019, 11, 2603.