Do "plant-based" processed foods = healthier?
Obviously, the "plant-based" movement has reached mainstream attention but does it mean the "plant-based" alternative to beef or chicken is actually healthier? I wonder if eating more processed soy and wheat products are more kidney protective than eating its "animal-based" counterpart? I mean, it is plant based, right??
At the end of the day, many of these items are still highly processed foods - loaded with sodium and preservatives, not to mention still impacting our environment with shipping and packaging waste. Are these products as deserving of all the glory as they seem to get or just a rebranding of junk food by food manufacturers? I kinda of doubt it, look how the impossible "plant-based" burger sizes up next to a "animal-based" burger here. Consumption of junk or processed foods contribute to poor health outcomes such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease - PERIOD.
But we all live in reality, people are busy or don't care to cook and often rely on processed foods to eat. It is easy to turn to these products and in some cases, its appropriate to do so. Reading food labels & ingredients of these products is now where you must be vigilant in choosing products that could definitely work and be categorized as generally decent for your health...so, what is it that you should be looking for? Four good label reading tips here.
Ideally, a plant-based diet is just that - from plants, not processing food plants. So instead of those "beef" crumbles, use some beans or lentils. Try to pick items that are as low in sodium and ingredients as possible (or ones that you can recognize what they are). There are some decent products out there, you just have to look for them - here is a product line that is easy to find and meets the guidelines here.
In peace & good health.