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The Pros and Cons of Fake Meat

By Sara Butler

Beyond Burgers are making a big splash. They supposedly taste just like a burger made from real meat but are entirely plant-based. If you're curious about them, then you may be wondering if there are any benefits to cutting back on your meat intake by adding these products to your diet. Here are a few pros and cons of fake meat (and veggie burgers) to help you decide if they're worth exploring.

Pea Protein-Based Burgers

There are several pros to the fake meat burgers that are pea protein-based, such as a Beyond Burger. Since they're made of peas, they're high in phytochemicals, micronutrients such as fiber and folate, and are full of antioxidants. Plus, peas have been found to have some prebiotic properties that are great for your gut health.

While pea protein doesn't offer the same benefits as peas when it comes to nutrition, it still has all nine essential amino acids and is a great source of iron. It's also one plant protein that is easy to digest.

The biggest con to pea protein is that when it's mass-produced in a factory, it simply doesn't retain as many of the things that make the pea so healthy. Plus these fake meat burgers use canola oil and refined coconut oil too, which is a bummer if you're trying to avoid highly refined foods.

Soy Protein-Based Burgers

Soy protein has been on the market for years so it's stood the test of time. One of the best things about soy is that it contains a lot of iron. Some burgers on the market contain more iron than a traditional burger if you can believe that!

The downside to soy is that if you're trying to keep genetically modified foods out of your kitchen, these products will make it difficult. You'll also find refined oils and added flavors to these burgers, as well as added sugar, which makes this choice a lot less tempting.

Vital Wheat Gluten-Based Burgers

This option is almost entirely organic, so you won't find preservatives, colorings, or genetically modified ingredients in products made with vital wheat gluten.

The drawback to this option is that they're obviously not good for you if you have celiac disease. They also contain added sugars and refined oils.

There are several great options to help reduce the amount of meat you eat, but make sure to do your research before trying something new to make sure you're getting all the things you want and not the things you don't!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Long Beach, Calif.

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