How to switch meat without harm to health

How to switch meat without harm to health

Choose healthy protein sources for your vegan (or vegetarian) diet or fasting

If you decide to go on a vegetarian diet, it is important to identify products that can replace meat with no harm to health, provide the body with the supply of a similar cocktail of nutrients – quality protein, probiotics, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Protein is vital for supporting the body in a healthy state, growth and restoration of cells, as well as for the production of important hormones and enzymes. Deficiency of protein compounds in the diet is accompanied by obvious and hidden troubles – from peeling of the skin and swelling to loss of muscle mass and weakening of the immune system. In addition, protein contributes to weight loss by maintaining satiety, reducing calorie intake and the level of ghrelin (a hormone that stimulates hunger), helps maintain normal blood sugar and improves brain function.

Fortunately, nature has taken care of the “bench” for products of animal origin, creating many food “understudies” that can make up for the deficiency of nutrients by soloing in delicious vegetarian dishes. Introducing the top 6 protein foods that can replace meat without harm to health.


Compressed brick made from whole fermented soybeans, popular in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, deserves a place of honor in the list of super foods. By a strange coincidence, Soybean has not received such wide popularity as tofu bean curd, which is practically devoid of the probiotic properties acquired by the tempo in the fermentation process.

Tempe has an unusual structure and a peculiar smell with a slight ammonia accent: some capture the aroma of nuts, others – mushrooms. This product tastes good and is versatile in cooking: the pace can be pickled, crumbled, chopped, chopped, sliced, fried or baked. Among other advantages, the pace is rich in calcium, antioxidants and soy isoflavones, useful for lowering cholesterol, and also claims to be the champion in protein content. 100 grams of pace contains 18 grams of protein, which makes it the undisputed leader among products that can replace meat without harm to health. For comparison: in 100 grams of tofu, only 8 grams of protein.

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Lentils are legumes that are rich in protein, fiber, and a whole bunch of important trace elements like folic acid, manganese, and iron. You can buy it, unlike the aforementioned pace, in any supermarket – packaged, canned or frozen. Just a serving of lentils per day (as a side dish, in soup or salad) will help control blood sugar, prevent constipation and keep weight under control.


Another protein product from fermented soybeans, rich in manganese, iron, copper, magnesium and able to replace meat without harm to health. Nattos are made by soaking whole beans, followed by steaming or boiling and adding beneficial bacteria for fermentation. A high-quality natto is characterized by a specific smell and taste, as well as a sticky, viscous consistency. In Japan, this product takes the second place after rice and is usually served with it in a duet as a traditional breakfast dish.


Thanks to its nutritious and healing properties, mushrooms have supplemented the human menu for millennia. Modern scientists have proven that this low-calorie protein source has outstanding antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which provides mushrooms with a direct fall into the category of super foods. Mushrooms do an excellent job with the role of meat substitutes in fries, soups, salads, burgers, casseroles and pasta, increasing the nutritional value of dishes and giving them a mouth-watering and rich flavor.


In a natural treasury of proteins, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals, almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts, cashews, flaxseed, chia seeds and hemp are leading. It is worth noting that benefits should be expected only from unroasted and unsalted nuts without additional additives. Flax and chia seeds can also serve as a substitute for eggs in vegan recipes, acting as a binder (mix a tablespoon of seeds with three tablespoons of water).

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Slightly behind lentils in protein and minerals, other legumes, too, coping well with the role of amenities meat in a vegetarian diet. In order to take full advantage of the health benefits, nutritionists advise them to germinate – soak for a day in water, then leave for a couple of days under moist gauze. Sprouted seeds and grains contain more vitamins that help restore the body at the cellular level, and, in addition, sprouts increase the nutritional profile of legumes and reduce the content of antinutrients that slow down the absorption of nutrients.