Meat alternatives take the spotlight

Meat alternatives take the spotlight

Posted by Hain Celestial on Jun 06, 2014 | A Healthier Way of Life

            Meat Alternatives

According to a report by the Institut national de santé publique, Quebecers consume twice as much meat (poultry, beef, and ham) as meat alternatives (nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, eggs and seafood). Yet the desire to reduce our meat consumption has never been so widespread. Flexitarianism, or occasionally eating meatless meals, is a growing phenomenon, in particular due to the Meatless Monday movement, which has continued to grow in Quebec since 2008.

Is vegetable protein a good choice?

Meeting your protein needs solely from plant-based foods is easy. What’s important is to eat a varied diet, by choosing different meat alternatives during the day (tofu, legumes, seeds…). This will provide you with all the essential amino acids you need. Some sources recommend that special attention be paid to protein combining at each meal for children.

Including meat alternatives in your menu is a simple matter of habit. Ideally, you should try to prepare meals using them at least 3 to 4 times a week.

One serving = 175 ml (¾ cup) of cooked legumes; 150 g or 175 ml (¾ cup) of tofu; 2 eggs; 30 ml (2 tbsp.) of peanut butter; 60 ml (¼ cup) of nuts and shelled seeds.

How should I integrate meat alternatives into my diet?

In addition to adding flavour and variety to your menu, including plant-based foods in your diet will increase your consumption of fibre. With less fat and therefore fewer calories, meat alternatives are as complementary to your cardiovascular health as they are to your waistline. As an example a serving size (about 100 g) of Yves Veggie Cuisine® Veggie Ground Round provides 120 calories, 2 g of fat, 4 g of fibre (16% of DV) and 18 g of protein, whereas regular ground beef provides 290 calories, 24 g of fat, 0 g of fibre and 16 g of protein. To ease the transition, you can choose products that appear almost identical to meat. The Original Veggie Ground Round, the Veggie Ground Chicken and the Spicy Italian Veggie Sausages are excellent examples; they are tasty, versatile and easy-to-use alternatives to meat in many of your favourite recipes, including tacos, spaghetti sauce, macaroni, hamburgers and many more!

How to reduce your meat consumption?

Add legumes, tofu, nuts or seeds to salads, soups, spreads, shepherd’s pie with lentils, spaghetti sauce or stuffed peppers. Other delicious ideas include using firm tofu in cubes, pan-roasted and added to vegetable stir-fries, salads, Asian pasta dishes, crumbled in spaghetti sauce, in croquettes or in a soup. Discover them for yourself! 

Charlotte Geroudet, RD

Charlotte Geroudet

Professional and dynamic, Charlotte Geroudet is a dietitian-nutritionist who actively contributes to communicating about and promoting healthy eating. With the public interest at heart, she shares her favourite finds and the latest on nutritional science via her magazine columns (5•15 and La Semaine) as well as through various collaborations as a blogger (Hain Celestial, Nutrition Québec, Divas en ligne, Canal Vie, Coup de pouce, etc.). Charlotte is also a nutrition columnist on radio; for four years now, she has regularly been invited to speak on different radio shows in Québec.

This nutritionist, columnist, consultant, blogger and speaker has made promoting the development of a simple, balanced diet her mission.