A recent study revealed that a significant number of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly alternative meat products have “excessive” levels of salt compared to their conventional meat counterparts. 

As some consumers transition to more plant-based diets, food companies are hurrying to market meat substitutes that mimic the experience of traditional meat products.

Soy-based burgers, chicken-less nuggets, and non-meat bacon and sausages are increasingly popping up on grocery shelves to meet heightening consumer interest.

Often times, shoppers will reach for meat substitutes for health or environmental reasons, but those same consumers seeking a healthier diet may be surprised to find that meat substitutes often contain more sodium than the meat products they are designed to replace.

According to the American Heart Association, high sodium diets can increase blood pressure which may lead to cardiovascular issues such as greater risk for heart disease and stroke.

Recent data suggest that the majority of Americans (75%) are looking for food products that contain lower levels of sodium.

Across the ocean, the UK group, Action on Salt, based at Queen Mary University in London and comprised mainly of nutrition, public health and medical experts, published a 2018 study that found that about 28% of 157 meat substitute products evaluated contain higher salt levels than the maximum 2017 sodium targets established by the UK government.

In addition, the organization also discovered that meat-free burgers contain, on average, more salt than traditional meat burgers.
(Cargill, Inc.)

Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

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