Is Beyond Meat Healthy? And Is Beyond Meat Healthier Than Beef?

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Adenike Eketunde
Adenike Eketundehttps://www.wikidoc.org/index.php/Adenike_Eketunde
I am a health enthusiast with a degree in medicine and public health. I have over 5 years of experience working in the clinical and non-clinical setting. I have experience in medical writing and review with published articles on PubMed.

With the recent rise in veganism, there has been a demand for meat substitutes. One of these substitutes is plant-based meats from makers such as Beyond Meat. While due to making use of plant-based meats, you would think the answer to the question, is Beyond Meat healthy, would be a resounding yes. However, there’s a bit more to it.

So, in this article, we’ll look at what plant-based meats are and what they contain. We’ll also be looking at how healthy this particular type of meat is.

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What is Beyond Meat?

what is beyond meat

Beyond Meat is a plant-based meat producer that initially started in Los Angeles. They now serve around 80 countries with various animal meat substitutes for vegans worldwide. Their products include sausages, meatballs, and burgers with their aim to emulate the texture and taste of chicken or beef products while providing health benefits.

Some fast-food chains have even ended up adopting Beyond Meat’s products into their menu. So now you might wonder how they make these? Let’s look at the details now.

What Ingredients Does Beyond Meat Use?

is beyond meat healthier than beef

As we’ve said before, Beyond Meat uses various plant ingredients to substitute for meat. The most important part of their ingredients is ensuring the same protein and mineral content level as other meat-based products. Their ingredients include:

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Peas and Beans:

Probably the best source of protein; Beyond meat incorporates peas and fava beans to ensure the protein content of their sausages and burger patties are comparable to their meaty counterparts. This is a core ingredient in many of the Beyond Meat burger patties.

Some of their products also use brown rice for additional protein content. Brown rice is a whole grain and relatively healthy. It is a decent source of fiber.

Canola Or Coconut Oil:

To ensure that the meat is healthier, it is cooked in either canola or coconut oil. Canola oil is one of the most nourishing oils as it contains minimal saturated fats and healthy cholesterol. Coconut oil, in contrast, is less healthy than Canola oil but is often used to add a better taste to the food. 

Refine coconut oil is often used with a lower melting temperature and contains less harmful fats. However, when cooking it, it is easy to burn it and lose the good fats, so keep that in mind.

Cocoa Butter:

A significant source of calories comes from this one ingredient since it has high-calorie content. Cocoa butter is also another source of fat in Beyond Meat products. It is less healthy than canola and coconut oil and is usually used in tiny amounts to add a bit of flavor.

Potato Starch:

Potato starch gives the burger patties a better texture and the appropriate thickness. It is also a source of carbohydrates and gives you a decent amount of energy to burn throughout the day. Without potato starch, burger patties and sausages won’t have the same feeling as their meat counterparts when you bite into them.

Apple and Pomegranate Extract:

Some of Beyond Meat’s products have added a tinge of apple extract. It helps with flavoring and acts as an anti-oxidant, so you’ll remain safe from cancer. Alternatively, pomegranate can also be used since it does a similar job to apple extract, only differing in slight taste.

Methylcellulose:

It is an essential ingredient, not for its health benefits but because it holds everything together. This chemical compound ensures your sausage or burger patty does not crumble or break down. It also helps in conjunction with potato starch to give the right texture to your food.

However, there is a point of contention with this particular ingredient. Methylcellulose acts as a laxative, and while it can help people with existing bowel problems, it can be detrimental for other people. It can lead to flatulence problems and feeling bloated after eating.

One thing to note about Beyond Meat is that they do not use any artificial coloring or flavors. To give the meat a distinct color, they use beet juice to give the dark reddish tint. 

Beet juice also helps lower your blood pressure and helps strengthen your muscles. It is a helpful addition for people struggling with heart issues or hypertension. 

How Healthy is Beyond Meat?

is beyond meat healthy

Since we’ve covered some of the essential ingredients of Beyond Meat products, we’ll now look at how healthy they are in terms of protein, mineral, fat content, etc. Then we’ll come to a verdict.

Protein:

You won’t notice much change in your protein intake if you switch to Beyond Meat food. As mentioned before, the presence of peas, brown rice, and beans does mean that Beyond Meat products have a high degree of protein content. They are generally the exact animal meat counterparts, only slightly behind beef.

Fat:

Since they are usually cooked in Canola oil, the saturated fat levels of their plant-based meat are relatively low. Due to possessing less harmful fats, people consuming Beyond Meat food tend to have a lower risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure. 

As a result, they are much safer to consume than their regular animal meat versions, which often have saturated fat at higher levels.

Sodium:

Plant-based meat has lower sodium content than animal meat ones. While sodium is essential for the human body, higher sodium content in beef patties and sausages can have adverse and harmful effects. 

Mineral Content:

While it may seem that plant-based meat might lack minerals, they do not. The mineral content tends to be the same as the animal meat counterparts. They have a decent amount of calcium, iron, and potassium chloride. A proper serving can often contribute to a decent amount of your daily recommended intake of minerals.

Carbohydrates:

Beyond Meat burger patties tend to contain about 7g of carbohydrates which is a decent amount. This is generally equal to if not slightly higher than beef patties.

Verdict: Should You Eat Beyond Meat?

Overall, we can see that Beyond meat products have similar protein, mineral, and carbohydrate content to animal-based products of similar nature. The main differing factor to consider is that you’re gaining the same amount of protein, mineral, and carbohydrate but less sodium and minimal harmful fats. 

The lack of artificial flavoring and color of any kind is a huge plus. This does make it seem like Beyond Meat is very much a healthier option, especially for people who suffer from hypertension. In addition, beet juice and apple extract help your muscles regulate blood pressure and work as anti-oxidants.

If you don’t mind or don’t face issues from it, there are very few problems you’ll face when switching to Beyond Meat. However, one thing to note is the presence of Methylcellulose. When you consume it, it can create discomfort for you, so keep that in mind. So overall, Beyond Meat is a healthy option.

Any More Questions?

Can you eat Beyond Meat every day?

Ultimately, it’s processed food and shouldn’t be consumed regularly. 

Can you lose weight eating Beyond Meat?

Not only Beyond Meat, but any processed food is unlikely to help you much in losing weight. 

Does Beyond Meat have carrageenan?

Yes, it does. 

Conclusion

Is Beyond Meat healthy? Although it may take some getting used to the different tastes of plant-based meat, it is generally the healthier option. We hope this article has provided a satisfactory answer to the question.

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