The Best Meat Alternatives

Good for You, Good for our Planet

As humans, we evolve. So do our diets. As we learn more about our changing environment and bodies, we adapt and find potentially healthier alternatives for ourselves and the planet. Yet the more we learn and the more information we uncover, the more overwhelmed it can be to try new diets. Nourishing yourself has always been important, but what is a relatively simple way to start without overhauling your lifestyle?

The answer most experts recommend is to cut back on meat consumption. With agribusinesses like factory farming placing an enormous strain on our land, air, and water supply, scaling back on livestock usage is crucial to alleviating climate change. Eating less red meat has been proven to reduce cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. Still, meat remains ingrained in the American diet. It can be hard to transition away from any food group, no matter how beneficial forgoing it may be. If the idea of a meatless existence scares you, don’t panic; we have gathered the best meatless substitutes to help you sake vegetarianism till you make it.

Ask any vegan or vegetarian about Gardein’s products and expect to get rave reviews. The meatless meatball, a classic plant-eater substitute, is perfected with Gardein’s blend of wheat, vegetables, soy, and spices that make it almost impossible to distinguish it from actual meat. It’s as versatile as it is tasty, paring perfectly with everything from classic spaghetti dishes to mushroom gravy. Plus, it is loaded with 15 grams of protein per serving, so you aren’t compromising any aspect of your health.

Chicken is a noted crowd-pleaser, so it seems tough to give up. Fear not; Quorn has you covered. Their Chik’n Cutlets are made with Mycoprotein, a type of protein derived from fungi, and seasoning that give these cutlets a juicy texture and natural chicken flavor. At only 80 calories per cutlet, you’ll enjoy natural chicken flavor and texture without harming the planet or you waistline. Note: Quorn’s Chik’n Cutlets are made with egg whites, an animal product.

Frequently referred to as one of the best on the market, Beyond Meat’s Beyond Sausage delivers a flavorful brat that tastes like the real thing without animal cruelty or added chemicals. This veggie sausage cooks easily and is loaded with 16 grams of plant-based proteins with only 5 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of fat. What’s more? Beyond Meat is certified vegan, gluten-free, and Kosher. Meet your new mealtime staple.

We couldn’t resist adding another Gardein favorite to the list. Meal prepping is one of the healthiest, quickest, and cost-efficient ways to eat. With Beefless Ground beef, you’re getting a multipurpose meat substitute that can work with a plethora of different dishes and a whopping 7 servings per container. Feel good about the 12 grams of protein you are fueling your body with at only 1.5 grams of fat and 80 calories per half cup. Oh, and did we mention the 87% less fat than traditional ground beef? Sold.

As a vegetarian myself, bacon was so, so difficult to give up. Lightlife made it possible. Their popular Fakin’ Bacon strips are easy to fry and deliver a smoky flavor with a chewiness that resembles real pork. It has 12 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving, with virtually non of the harmful carcinogens found in regular bacon. Good for the planet, good for pigs, and good for you.

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