Vegan "meat" recommendations?

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SanPancho

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so doc tells me its time to start cutting back on the meats and fats. family history/high cholesterol. fish oil, a non-statin medication, and recommends starting with basic diet changes to see how we do. to that end, he recommended substituting the new vegan "meat" stuff wherever we'd normally use ground beef- spaghetti, lasagne, meatballs, etc.

he said his wife buys what he called "amazon" meat stuff. i think he means their "simple fresh" stuff....? i've had an impossible burger, it was decent. but now a quick google search shows you like a dozen different plant-based meat brands. crazy. hopefully some others here have some more insight/experience?
 

betarhoalphadelta

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I dunno... IMHO trying to substitute fake meat for meat isn't great. And a lot of the stuff isn't what you'd call "healthy" to begin with.


To make it seem like meat, they doctor it up with all sorts of things that are just as unhealthful as meat. It's plant-based, but that doesn't mean it's healthy. If they're adding in natural fats, a whole bunch of soy, and loading it down with sodium to "taste like meat", well you're out of the frying pan and into the fire.

I'd almost go a few ways here:

  • Where you need a meat substitute, lean ground turkey can be a better option than beef. In a lot of dishes with "hidden" meat, i.e. the sort of things you bring up like spaghetti, lasagna, etc, the differences won't be very noticeable. I assume the doc wants you to mostly be cutting back on red meats; there are alternatives.
  • Where you might normally use meat (such as a burger) but it's not hidden, use something else, but not fake meat. For example my wife and I eat portobello burgers on a regular basis. Mentally I don't even attempt to tell myself I'm eating a burger; I tell myself I'm eating a delicious portobello sandwich on a bun. That's IMHO *far* healthier than a burger or a fake burger.
  • Where you don't need a meat substitute, just eat something else. We honestly do a ton of fish/veggie meals here (not sure if your doc was offering fish as a "meat" alternative". We tend not to do a lot of pasta, but my wife makes an awesome Greek tortellini salad that is meatless. If you're trying to cut back on meat, cut back on meat, rather than substituting fake meat.

There are tons of ways to reduce meat intake without trying to fool yourself.

I get people who are vegetarian simply because they don't want to eat animals gravitating towards fake meat, but if you're trying to do this for health reasons, the fake meat isn't much of an improvement.

Vegetarian/vegan food can be incredibly delicious. In some ways it's like when I used to travel to Utah on business and they had a cap on 4% ABV for beer. Instead of just throwing a ton of hops and making a 7% IPA, you have to be very careful to develop flavor within a restriction. Vegetarian/vegan food can't rely on meat and fat, but that doesn't mean that they don't develop great flavor. I'm not a vegetarian/vegan personally, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the food. When I choose meatless meals, I will rather go fully meatless, not replace meat with fake meat.
 
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I agree with everything @betarhoalphadelta said. I'll add in saying that if you were gonna "cheat" and have red meat, consider venison. If its available to you, its meat, red meat, but a healthier option then going full on cow. I'm obviously not a vegan but my wife and I will eat vegan meals and they can be very good. The portabello "burger" mentioned above is a great example. But as said, dont expect it to taste like meat.
 
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SanPancho

SanPancho

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not looking for advice. looking for reviews/opinions of the vegan "meat" varieties/options out there.

anyone?
 
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so doc tells me its time to start cutting back on the meats and fats. family history/high cholesterol. fish oil, a non-statin medication, and recommends starting with basic diet changes to see how we do. to that end, he recommended substituting the new vegan "meat" stuff wherever we'd normally use ground beef- spaghetti, lasagne, meatballs, etc.

he said his wife buys what he called "amazon" meat stuff. i think he means their "simple fresh" stuff....? i've had an impossible burger, it was decent. but now a quick google search shows you like a dozen different plant-based meat brands. crazy. hopefully some others here have some more insight/experience?

Have you considered just sticking with chicken/turkey? I'm no expert, but I assume those aren't going to affect your cholesterol like the andouille sausage I had for lunch today.
 
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SanPancho

SanPancho

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My family is vegetarian and all of the products by Impossible are really good. Morning star makes tasty vegetarian options too
ive had an impossible burger before, i was pleasantly surprised. in terms of a burger, it was close enough that if you hadnt told me it was vegan i would have thought it was just a bit bland but i would not have complained.

have you by chance tried the amazon version? or the "quorn" one? just heard very good things about quorn from neighbor.
 

matt_m

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I would agree that Impossible burger cooked as a burger is pretty close to tasting like a burger. Our favorite bar and grill has them and seasoned and grilled on a flat top the same way they do their regular burgers they are darn close. But, like someone else said, they really aren't any healthier and they are a buck or 2 more expensive last I looked. I think the Beyond products are TERRIBLE and won't be trying them again.

My daughter has mostly stopped eating beef and pork and has bought a number of frozen vegetarian items during times she's been home from school. Some are terrible, just like frozen meat products. Some are OK if you don't consider them as substitutes for things they are not. Most are just as much processed food as the meat containing products.
 

aceluby

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Some stuff is ok. We got sick from morningstar ground vegan meat, so we stay away from that. Impossible is fine, though I prefer veggie burgers to that since they are significantly healthier. I like to use slice up vegan sausage in my italian dishes, which is pretty darn good. But when my wife was a vegetarian we pretty much just looked for vegetarian recipes or subbing out ground beef for more veggies - we didn't particularly enjoy "fake meat". YMMV, but there are a lot of great vegetarian recipes out there for italian, chinese, thai, indian, and american cuisines. Might be a good opportunity to branch out and try some new stuff.
 

mashpaddled

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The impossible burgers are probably the closest I've had for beef. I've had some of the morningstar incogmeato chicken alternatives and they are surprisingly close.

There's a lot of good work being done to create meat alternatives that taste and feel like meat. I agree they are often trading one health problem for another. Often they are heavy in salt and other compounds that can also cause health issues for people. Red meat might be the sole concern for you and these other ingredients might be fine. I am trying to cut down on meat consumption myself but find a lot of vegetarian/vegan food is less healthy. That seems to be true especially for meat alternatives and replicating meat heavy dishes.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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not looking for advice. looking for reviews/opinions of the vegan "meat" varieties/options out there.

anyone?
Fair 'nuff. But if you came in here because your doctor told you to lose weight, and you were asking what the best type of saw is to use to cut an arm off, I think we might tell you that cutting an arm off might technically be losing weight, but might not really be what the doc had in mind ;)

I wish you well in your journey, and hope you achieve your health goals. Cheers! :mug:
 

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