Is plant-based meat better for your health and heart? What a new study says.

In the ongoing debate between vegetarians and meat eaters, new research published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology suggests that highly processed plant-based meat alternatives

(PBMAs) may offer more heart-healthy nutritional profiles compared to animal-based meats. These PBMAs typically include proteins like seitan, soy, pea, and mycoprotein, along with fats from sources such as coconut oil

Despite their often high sodium content, studies from 1970 to 2023 indicate that these PBMAs do not significantly raise blood pressure, and in some cases, they may improve cholesterol levels based on randomized controlled trials.

Experts remain cautious about highly processed plant-based foods due to concerns over sodium intake. While plant-based meat alternatives can help reduce red meat consumption, their nutritional value varies widely.

Some, like tempeh or tofu, are low in saturated fat and minimally processed, rich in fiber, folate, and other beneficial nutrients. Others, however, may be ultra-processed and high in saturated fats.

Despite these considerations, plant-based meats generally offer benefits such as being lower in saturated fats compared to meat and providing dietary fiber, which supports gut health and digestion.

Moreover, choosing vegetarian meats over processed meats can mitigate known risks associated with processed meats, including increased cancer risk according to the World Health.

Choosing plant-based meat alternatives over processed meats can be a prudent dietary choice, particularly in reducing the intake of saturated fats and potentially harmful additives linked to processed meat consumption.

While concerns about sodium levels in some plant-based products persist, the overall nutritional benefits such as higher fiber content and lower saturated fat levels