The health benefits of a plant-based diet play a big role in its growing popularity



Every year, more people are incorporating plant-based foods into their diets


What does “plant-based diet” mean, anyway? Is it the same thing as being vegetarian or vegan? Or does this diet just mean you make an effort to pack more veggies into your meals?

Some people use the term ‘plant-based diet’ as a synonym for the vegan diet, or you can say that A plant-based diet emphasizes foods like fruits, vegetables, and beans, and limits foods like meats, dairy, and eggs. 

Vegetarian and vegan diets are also plant-based., and the Mediterranean diet is a version of a plant-based diet because even though it incorporates fish and poultry, the emphasis is on plant-based foods.

Plant based food


The health benefits of a plant-based diet, including lowered risk of heart disease, play a big role in its growing popularity. Regular meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of other conditions such as pneumonia, diverticular disease, diabetes, and several cancers. And during the pandemic, researchers from Harvard Medical School found that a healthy plant-based diet was associated with decreased risk of severe covid-19.


In a study of over a half-million survey participants published in September in Gut, scientists found that eating healthy plant-based foods reduced the risk of severe covid-19 by 41 percent, even after controlling for a number of factors.

The study showed that diets highest in “healthy plant-based” foods, like whole grains or vegetables, were more beneficial than those containing less healthy plant-based groups, like potatoes and fruit juices, or those containing higher animal-based food groups, like seafood and dairy.


What is vegan turkey

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

  • Reduced inflammation.
  • Reduced carbon footprint. ...
  • Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes and improved kidney function. 
  • Reduced risk of heart disease. 
  • Low levels of bad cholesterol. 
  • Reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. 
  • Improved gut health.

What is vegan turkey made of?


The ingredients included in vegan turkey products vary, many meat-alternative products lean into wheat and soy. These are common allergens, so be sure to check ingredient lists if you have allergies or sensitivities.

Depending on what the meat alternative is made of, the texture may be crispy, meaty, or a little bit spongy. It’s best to test out different meat-alternative products to find one that suits your tastes.

Here are a few common meat-alternative ingredients:


Soy protein isolate. This protein is isolated and processed from soybeans, offering high amounts of protein, iron, and other minerals, “Anything with soy protein is going to give you the best texture,” 

Wheat gluten. This form of wheat is ground into a flour that has very little starch but a ton of gluten, which creates a realistically meaty texture, Willis says. Wheat gluten is what gives elasticity to bread, and it’s easy to mold into meat-like products, she explains. Wheat gluten is also very high in protein and offers a variety of minerals, including iron, Newgent adds. The terms wheat protein, wheat gluten, vital wheat gluten flour, and vital wheat gluten are used interchangeably, but the most common term you’ll see is vital wheat gluten flour.s the main ingredient in the meat substitute seitan and many other meat alternatives, explains Julie Harrington, R.D., chef and co-founder of Culinary Nutrition Studio.

Tofu. Made from whole soybeans, tofu offers high amounts of protein and a wealth of vitamins and minerals, Newgent says. “Tofu is made from curdling soy milk with a coagulant (an ingredient that allows curdling). It is a good source of plant-based protein, and may also provide calcium,” Sheth adds.

vegan turkey

Plant-based recipes 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, vegan

Servings: 6
Calories: 263 kcal
Author: Monica Davis | The Hidden Veggies
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups chickpeas (or white beans or 14 oz. pressed firm tofu)
1 cup vegan broth (chicken-style vegan broth tastes best)
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil melted (or any other neutral-flavored oil)
2 teaspoons soy sauce Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten

Basting Liquid:
1/2 cup broth
2 tablespoons light olive oil or other neutral-flavored oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Vital Wheat Gluten - to give the turkey the meaty texture. This ingredient can not be substituted. 
  • Chickpeas aka Garbanzo Beans - to add protein and dilute the gluten so it's not too chewy. You can also use white beans, pinto beans, or a 14 oz block of tofu instead.
  • Broth - to flavor the vegan turkey. I like to use a chicken-style vegan broth like Not Chicken or you can use any vegetable broth that you wish.
  • Neutral Flavored Oil - to make the meat moist. (optional) I like refined coconut oil because it is most similar to the fat that you find in meat and will give it the most authentic texture. Feel free to leave it out, I just find the "meat" to be dryer tasting without it. However, I do highly recommend using some oil in the basting liquid.
  • Poultry Seasoning - for flavor.
  • Soy Sauce - or Bragg's Liquid Aminos for flavor.
  • Nutritional Yeast - for flavor. (optional) There is nothing that replaces the umami flavor of it, but if you don't have it, you can leave it out.
  • Garlic Powder - for flavor.
  • Onion Powder - for flavor.
  • Oregano - for flavor in the basting liquid.
  • Fresh Ground Pepper - for flavor in the basting liquid.
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