Whole food options are the healthier choice

Haley Bishoff, RDN, LD, owner of Rūtsu Nutrition in Las Vegas, said that “developing a greater understanding of plant-based meat alternatives and their impact on health should be further explored, especially for those with high risk for chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease/ or diabetes.”

“As a registered dietitian, I encourage minimal consumption of processed foods in general, which include some plant-based meat alternatives and animal meats like sausage, hot dogs and ham,” Bishoff told us.

“Ideally, whole food options should be a primary protein source for both plant-based or omnivorous diets. Whole food diets tend to promote cardiometabolic health because they include more fiberomega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.”

– Haley Bishoff, RDN, LD

Costa further noted that the current research highlights the “nutritional discrepancies between plant-based meat analogues, animal-based foods, and whole plant-based foods, despite advancements in processing techniques and carefully curated ingredients used to create plant-based meat alternatives.”

In conclusion, Costa said, “this research highlights the importance of understanding that not all plant-based diets are created equal.”

“While choosing more plant-based options can have health benefits, it is important to focus on whole, minimally processed foods rather than relying solely on ultra-processed alternatives,” she reiterated.