Are plant-based meat alternative products healthier than the animal meats they mimic? There is no simple answer to this question because these products have both nutritional strengths and shortcomings. On the plus side, most are a good source of dietary fiber and contain less saturated fat and cholesterol in comparison to the animal meats they mimic. In addition, most contain iron in amounts comparable to the animal products they are designed to replace. As for shortcomings, plant-based meat alternative products generally contain less protein, zinc, and vitamin B12 than animal meats. Most also contain sodium in high amounts. Products can vary greatly in their nutrient content, which means consumers should read nutrition facts labels to choose a product that best aligns with their health and nutrition goals.
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