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Are you going for vegetarian meat substitutes and are they good for you?

Veganism is on a rise around the world with people adopting plant-based diets. To bulk out their meals people are turning to meat substitutes and they make sure they are consuming enough protein.

While they are meat-free protein foods for example beans, lentils, chickpeas, soya, nuts seeds, wheat, rice, mazie, milk, yoghurt and cheese, many vegetarians seem to enjoy mycoprotien. Which is a single-cell protein derived from fungi.

One of the the best-known brands of meat alternatives is a mycoprotien called Quorn. It is best known for its mince and chicken style pieces. Most of these products are manufactured in Britain. One of the companies has planned to invest £7 million in developing these products.

The big question on health practitioners is that, do the substitutes actually provide all the nutrients people need?

Plant-based sources of protein are generally incomplete- they do not contain all of the essential amino acids,which are the building blocks of protein- meaning it is essential to eat a variety of them every day," registered dietitian Nichola Ludlam- Raine explained. Soya, quinoa and hemp are the only plant based complete sources of protein i.e. they contain all the essential amino acids that our body needs. Ludlam- Raine says it is important to bear in mind, however, that meat-alternatives often contain a lot less protein than their meaty equivalents.

It may not be an issue to other people but it is important for gym goers and fitness fanatics need to take a lot of protein for muscle repair. If they are not eating meat they must make an extra effort to consume enough protein. A minimum of 0.8g protein per kg of body weight is required for an average person a day, but when exercising, gyming everyday or trying to lose weight the requirement can increase to 2g a day to prevent muscle loss.

Here is how some of the most popular meat-free alternatives compare to chicken breasts protein- wise:

○Chicken breast- 24g protein/ 100g (raw weight)

○Quorn - 14g protein/ 100g

○Tofu - 11.5g protien/ 100g

○Chickpeas - 7g protein/ 100g

○Jackfruit- 1.7g protein/ 100g

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