Why vegans like to have the wrong meat on their plates

Many believe that vegetarians and vegans loathe meat dishes. But that’s not true, most people love the taste of sausage, meat loaf or meatloaf. It just can’t come from the animal. That doesn’t sound logical, but there are reasons.

  • Most vegans like the taste of meat and sausage.
  • Plant-based sausages, meatballs and schnitzel satisfy the longing for the usual food.
  • Vegan food research is working on the perfect meat substitute.

The community of vegetarians and vegans is growing day by day, and with it the range of meat-free ready-made products. It is noticeable how many of them imitate traditional sausages, roasts or poultry dishes. So do the veggies see themselves after hearty home cooking and products from the butcher’s shop?

Refraining from meat for moral reasons

63 percent of those who do without animal foods cite ecological and ethical reasons. Only eleven percent simply don’t like meat. That was the result of a study at the University of Jena. Most vegetarians and vegans do not want animals to be slaughtered for their diet. You don’t want to eat dead animals. But they certainly appreciate the taste of meat dishes.

“Meat” comes from protein-rich plants

Meat substitutes made from soy, lupins or wheat protein (gluten) must then be used as the basic products for chili con carne, salami pizza or bacon pancakes. With the help of modern food chemistry, the vegetable protein suppliers get texture and taste that come close to the animal original. And while the vegetarian roast chicken is very reminiscent of rubber eagles, the meatless Bolognese sauce can hardly be distinguished from the original.

Why not just vegetables?

The preference of many veggies for well-known dishes – which in Germany mostly consist of meat and sausage – has to do with childhood and local food culture. What you like as a child remains a lifelong preference. Smells from the kitchen are often associated with pleasant childhood experiences. Saying goodbye to it is much harder than saying goodbye to meat. “It is hardly possible to part with positive eating memories. Eating has a lot to do with emotions, ”says nutritionist Jutta Kamensky from Ulm.

Meat substitute is anything but “organic”

However, imitation sausage and meat substitutes are not exactly biologically valuable food. A lot of food chemistry is required to turn gluten into a veggie roast beef. This contradicts the demands of traditional vegetarians on healthy wholefood nutrition with fresh foods. Too many flavorings and additives, too much salt and fat in meat substitutes therefore criticized the Hamburg consumer center some time ago.

Perfect steaks, but without dead animals

For all those who want to be vegan and dream of Wiener Schnitzel at night, representatives of the “Future Food” movement are active. Cooks, physicists, chemists and environmentalists work as start-up entrepreneurs in kitchens and laboratories on the vegan diet of the future. It should protect resources, be healthy and taste good. One of their goals is to use vegetable protein to make substitutes for meat, cheese and dairy products that can no longer be distinguished from the original: visually, in terms of taste, in terms of texture.

The next generation of vegetable steaks and chicken breasts is not yet ready for the market. Sometimes the consistency is lacking, sometimes the taste. But the organic hobbyists are certain that their high-tech methods will soon reconcile carnal preferences and vegan diets.

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The big meat check: how much you can eat and how you can prepare it healthily

Givers of strength with essential vitamins and protein or cholesterol bombs loaded with antibiotics – the subject of meat is hotly debated. FOCUS Online names the most important facts about the individual types of meat – and shows what “healthy” fat traps are.

The hunger for meat in Germany is great. Every inhabitant eats around 60 kilograms per year. Around 750 million animals are therefore slaughtered every year. Meat consumption has been falling for years, but only in the single-digit range. However, statistically speaking, every citizen still consumes around 1,100 animals in his life, including mainly chickens, but also just under 50 pigs and four cattle, as the BUND’s last meat atlas in 2018 calculated.

Meat causes a lot of CO 2 , but provides the best protein

Meat is thus undoubtedly one of the staple foods. However, it is left out of the picture that meat consumption is devastating for the climate balance: Through animal production, a meat eater pollutes the atmosphere with a good 1,800 kilograms of CO 2 per year and thus heats the climate catastrophe, vegetarians only make up about half of this.

Aside from that: nutritionally, meat offers a lot of positives. “Meat is definitely a high-quality food because it provides us with protein in particularly good bioavailability,” says Antje Gahl, press spokeswoman for the German Nutrition Society ( DGE ).

Animal protein, i.e. from meat and dairy products, can be used so well by our body because the composition of the amino acids is very similar to that of human protein. Animal protein usually contains all of the essential amino acids that we need in sufficient quantities, while plant-based foods often do not have the full spectrum of these amino acids. The body can therefore produce protein particularly quickly and appropriately from animal protein – for the muscles, for example.

In addition, meat is also characterized by other valuable ingredients:

  • readily available iron,

  • Selenium and

  • zinc

– all minerals and trace elements that are indispensable for blood formation, immune system, cell health, fertility and much more. Another unique feature is the high proportion of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 , which is only found in sufficient quantities in animal foods such as meat, eggs, milk and dairy products.

Preserving nutrients through proper cooking

To ensure that these nutrients are preserved as well as possible during preparation, the expert recommends steaming and slow frying, preferably with little fat. Some B vitamins are sensitive to heat, such as vitamins B1, B2 and B6 – vitamin B12 a little less.

The way in which meat and meat products are prepared determines how many vitamins are destroyed and how undesirable pollutants are formed. Therefore, everyone should consciously pay attention to high temperatures such as when grilling or the duration of heating. The longer and hotter it is cooked, the more pollutants are created or parts of the valuable B vitamins are destroyed.

Nevertheless, barbecuing is particularly popular . An important tip from the expert for grilling: “Dab the marinade before you put the meat on the grill.” Otherwise it will drip into the embers, burn and, among other things, produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. PAHs are strongly suspected of increasing the risk of cancer.

Meat is healthy when prepared correctly. But is it also an indispensable food? “No”, says the qualified ecotrophologist. Apart from vitamin B12, which is also contained in milk and dairy products, each of these nutrients can be obtained from plant-based foods – even if not in the ideal composition and high quality that is given with meat.

The “dark side” of meat: cholesterol, purine and arachidonic acid

However, meat is also the main source of cholesterol. In high amounts, cholesterol is a risk factor for arteriosclerosis and thus heart attack and stroke. It is not only present in the visible fat in the meat, but also in low-fat pieces. 100 grams of lean meat provide around 50 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams. 300 milligrams per day is the maximum limit for the intake of cholesterol per day for healthy people, i.e. without a lipid metabolism disorder.

In addition, meat, especially offal, contains purine, i.e. uric acid, which supports gout. Arachidonic acid plays a role as the third negative, natural ingredient in meat. The body creates inflammatory substances from this fatty acid. Diet suggestions for diseases with an inflammatory character such as rheumatism are therefore always meat-free or strictly reduced in meat.

“The majority of the amount of cholesterol and purine ingested with food actually comes from meat and meat products such as sausage and ham, a particularly large proportion of which have offal,” confirms the scientist. Nevertheless, cholesterol is an indispensable substance in the body because it takes on important tasks in building cells and nerves. “But our body also produces cholesterol itself and is therefore not dependent on the intake with food,” she explains. Anyone who then eats a lot of meat and sausage quickly absorbs high amounts of cholesterol.

Red meat vs. White meat

However, not all meat is created equal . When it comes to health, a distinction is made between red and white meat. Red meat, i.e. beef, pork, lamb, sheep and goat, is considered particularly unhealthy because it is said to favor diseases.

“Anyone who eats a lot of red meat and especially processed red meat has a higher risk of colon cancer, as many studies indicate, according to the current state of knowledge, consumption of white meat (poultry) is not related to cancer,” says the qualified ecotrophologist. Overall, however, the quality, quantity and method of preparation of the meat are decisive in contributing to a healthy diet.

Pork is leaner, chicken is fatter than expected

But the animal from which the meat comes also plays an important role. How about pork, the most popular meat in Germany and the other types of meat consumed in this country?

pig

Depending on the fat content, pork provides between 100 and 250 kilocalories per 100 grams, 70 milligrams of cholesterol. It also has a high content of vitamins B1 and B6.

So pork is surprisingly low in calories, but provides more cholesterol than, for example, beef. “Reach less for high-fat parts,” advises Antje Gahl, “but because of its vitamin B1 and B6, zinc and iron content, pork can make a contribution to a wholesome diet.”

Pork is popular because of its fine taste and can be used in many ways, quickly prepared and is particularly suitable as pan-fried meat (schnitzel) or roast with a crispy rind.

Beef

In terms of calorie content, beef is comparable to pork, depending on the fat, has around 150 to 200 kilocalories per 100 grams and 50 milligrams of cholesterol. It scores with high levels of vitamin B12, zinc and iron.

The strong taste of beef is particularly appreciated by many meat eaters. Because of its long fibers, beef lean meat must be specially prepared; apart from the fillet pieces, it requires a longer cooking time.

poultry

White, tender meat and a nutty taste are the characteristics of chicken, duck, turkey and goose. Because of the layer of fat under the skin, poultry meat provides a relatively large number of calories, around 270 kilocalories per 100 grams. If you choose a skin-free steak, you only get around 160 kilocalories. The fat content is around 25 grams per 100 grams of poultry meat.

In addition, poultry meat is particularly rich in protein, so it provides a lot of energy. Zinc, potassium and B vitamins make poultry meat particularly healthy.

But be careful, the crispy skin of chicken and duck contains lots of purines, so it can increase the risk of gout. This is particularly relevant for those who already have elevated purine levels, warns the expert. However, poultry is safe for healthy people in this context.

But: “Poultry meat contains significantly more cholesterol than is generally assumed, namely around 90 milligrams per 100 grams,” she adds. Chicken may be low in fat, but that doesn’t mean it’s low in cholesterol, as is often assumed.

lamb

The tender, dark meat with its strong taste is not one of the Germans’ favorite varieties. However, it contains many B vitamins as well as iron and has a high proportion of valuable protein. What is surprising, however, is that on average lamb provides more calories than pork, almost 200 kilocalories per 100 grams of fresh meat, as well as 70 milligrams of cholesterol and many saturated (unfavorable) fatty acids.

Particular attention should be paid to the fatty acid composition with many saturated fatty acids in lamb. Like chicken, lamb is not fundamentally unproblematic when it comes to fat – as is often assumed.

Wild

It looks different with game meat. Saddle of venison, venison ragout, roast venison and wild boar are rarely served in Germany, although the meat is actually very low in fat, rich in protein and rich in vitamins B1 and B2, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium – and therefore healthy. Depending on the variety, it provides only 100 to 160 kilocalories per 100 grams of fresh produce, with less than ten grams of fat, around 60 milligrams of cholesterol and hardly any purine.

However, game meat should only be enjoyed well cooked because it can contain parasites, as the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment ( BfR ) warns. The radiation exposure of venison can also be high, depending on the region. “In wild boars, values ​​are still occasionally measured today that exceed the limit value for marketing 600 Becquerel per kilogram by more than ten times,” reports the Federal Office for Radiation Protection BfS .

horse

Horse meat is also controversial, although it is very healthy with a high content of minerals, vitamins and protein, but low in fat (around two grams per 100 grams of meat) and low in cholesterol. Here there are more psychological reasons why the meat of the popular sport animals is frowned upon, in contrast to France , where it is coveted as a delicacy.

You can eat that much meat

Meat is therefore quite healthy. “Nobody has to go without meat in principle, because it is a valuable part of our diet,” says the expert. However, it depends on the amount, and the following applies: less is more.

The DGE recommends that people who eat meat do not consume more than 300 to 600 grams of meat and meat products per week. That goes for adults. So it’s practical: eat meatless for a few days, then a meat dish. A portion of meat can weigh 100 to 150 grams, a slice of cold cuts 15 to 25 grams, depending on the type.

“Meat makes perfect sense in a wholesome diet, because it covers the need for many important nutrients with a single food. Even these small amounts are sufficient for this. It is best to choose predominantly plant-based foods and supplement them with animal-based foods, ”emphasizes Antje Gahl.

Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone has to eat meat. Those who prefer a vegetarian diet can supply these nutrients through a targeted selection of different types of vegetables and fruits, whole grain products, legumes, nuts and dairy products.

Organic meat or meat from conventional farming

Meat consumption in moderation is therefore quite healthy. It is not necessary to weigh one type of meat against another. Variety as well as personal preferences, taste and last but not least religion are important, emphasizes the qualified ecotrophologist. For more and more people, the ecological balance of rearing and animal welfare also play a role, keyword antibiotics, but also manure pollution and thus nitrate in the groundwater.

In organic animal husbandry, even fewer antibiotics may be used than in conventional farming, although there has also been a reduction recently. It is different with manure, whether organic or bulk, every animal produces just as much of it.

The best advice: eat less animal foods and more plant-based ones. In this way, fewer resources are used, the environment is less polluted and CO 2 emissions would be significantly reduced. Because meat production in particular produces a lot of the climate gas methane, which is many times more harmful to the climate than CO 2 .

Halve meat consumption

But as mentioned at the beginning: With 60 kilograms of meat consumed per person per year, Germany is far from the moderate recommendations of the DGE, which make up at most half of this amount. Accordingly, healthy meat consumption should hardly exceed around 30 kilograms per year – for the benefit of health, animals and the environment.

Workplace Health Screenings Promote Healthy Employees and Productivity

Workplace health ѕhоuld bе оnе оf уоur tор priorities. Aftеr аll, healthy employees mеаn lеѕѕ sick days аnd mоrе productivity. Evеn whеn a sick employee іѕ аt work, thеу аrе nоt аt thе tор оf thеіr game аnd they’re nоt near аѕ productive аѕ thеу (or you) wоuld like tо bе. Whеn thіѕ happens, іt costs уоu bоth tіmе аnd money аnd produces vеrу unhappy employees.

Wіth workplace health screenings, employees саn fіnd оut whаt thеіr health problems аrе early аnd рut a stop tо thеm bеfоrе thеу bесоmе vеrу ѕеrіоuѕ. Thіѕ іѕ ѕоmеthіng that’s good fоr nоt just уоu аѕ аn employer but аlѕо good fоr уоur employees.

Whаt benefits dо уоu gеt wіth workplace health screenings?

Workplace health screenings pick uр оn health-related issues thаt wоuld ordinarily gо unnoticed. Cholesterol аnd blood pressure screenings саn help employees identify іf thеу аrе аt risk fоr heart disease. Bоth оf thеѕе conditions аrе treatable wіth lifestyle changes whісh wіll lower thе risk fоr heart disease. Whеn dealt wіth early оn, іt саn stave оff a future heart attack, whісh саn bе a ѕеrіоuѕ loss tо уоur business.

Yоu саn аlѕо gеt glucose checks tо identify diabetes оr pre-diabetes. Bear іn mind thаt employees соuld hаvе type 2 diabetes аnd hаvе nо inkling оf іt whatsoever. Aftеr аll, thе symptoms оf type 2 diabetes аrе vеrу subtle аnd саn tаkе tіmе tо rear thеіr ugly head.

Pre-diabetes іѕ whеn blood sugar levels аrе high but nоt considered diabetic level range. People wіth pre-diabetes аrе folks wіth a high risk оf developing full-scale diabetes, unless thеу make ѕоmе ѕеrіоuѕ changes аnd gеt treatment. Type 2 diabetes іѕ a significant risk factor fоr a number оf diseases like heart disease.

Workplace health screenings mіght bе thе оnlу health checks уоur employees gеt

Mаnу employees don’t make thеіr health thе tор priority. Sоmе folks won’t ѕее a doctor fоr years оr hаvе thеіr blood pressure оr cholesterol levels checked оut. Whіlе workplace health screenings shouldn’t bе a replacement fоr doctor-checked blood studies аnd physical exams, thеу саn screen аnd identify health issues like high cholesterol, blood sugar levels аnd high blood pressure bеfоrе thе health issues bесоmе vеrу troublesome.

Wіth a little investment аnd tіmе, уоu саn screen уоur employees fоr potential health problems tо ensure thеу stay healthy аnd productive.

Health screenings work tо encourage employees tо adopt healthier habits

Workplace health screenings contribute tо employee health bу inspiring thеm tо re-evaluate thе lifestyle behaviors thеу currently hаvе. Whеn companies place priority оn employees’ health, іt makes thеm mоrе motivated tо reassess thеіr lifestyle, food choices аnd exercise routine. If аn employee knows they’ve got high cholesterol, they’re mоrе apt tо ѕее thеіr doctor аnd make thе necessary lifestyle changes thеу need tо correct іt.

Employers саn benefit bу proposing wellness programs tо assist thеіr employees tо quit smoking оr lose weight. Whеn thеѕе health issues аrе addressed, thе staff’s health іѕ improved overall. According tо research, smokers wіll suffer frоm frequent respiratory infections, whісh wіll result іn mоrе sick days аnd productivity loss.

Employees like thе proactive stance employers tаkе wіth health screenings

Employees аrе grateful whеn thеіr employers tаkе іntеrеѕt іn thеіr well-being. Workplace health screenings actually encourage good wіll bеtwееn co-workers. It’s a situation thаt іѕ a winner fоr bоth thе business аnd іtѕ employees. Businesses саn benefit bу ensuring employees аrе healthier аnd mоrе focused оn productivity thаn thеіr health.

Thе bоttоm line?

Basically, nоt аll employees аrе worried аbоut thеіr health like thеу ѕhоuld bе. Hоwеvеr, workplace health screenings allows thеm tо know whаt thеіr health іѕ like; information thеу mау nоt hаvе gotten wіthоut іt. Thеѕе screenings саn inspire thеm tо make healthier lifestyle choices аnd kеер future health problems аt bay. Thіѕ іѕ whу mаnу companies аrе opting fоr workplace health screenings

Workplace health [http://triscope.net/workplace-health/FAQ] аnd wellness programs саn help уоur company reduce іtѕ business costs аnd improve team morale.

Brad Booysen іѕ thе founder аnd director оf Triscope, a successful corporate wellness company. Triscope offers a range оf cost effective уеt easily administered wellness programs fоr companies whо want tо reduce thеіr business costs аnd look аftеr thеіr mоѕt valuable asset..their people. Fоr аll уоur corporate wellness needs contact Brad Booysen оf Triscope.

Magnesium is vital – you need to look out for it to stay healthy

Magnesium is involved in hundreds of different processes in the body. Therefore, the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency can be different. What surprising signs are possible, who is particularly at risk and how you can intelligently compensate for a magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is particularly well known in connection with magnesium deficiency and cramps. This applies to nocturnal calf cramps, but also massive cramps in athletes. But this important role that magnesium takes on for well-functioning muscles, only reflects a tiny aspect of its very broad spectrum of activity with diverse, vital functions.

What is magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral and belongs to the group of metals. This mineral is essential. This means that the body cannot produce magnesium itself, but the mineral is vital and must therefore be supplied with the diet. It is then absorbed through the intestinal walls and gets into the blood. Any excess is excreted through the kidneys with the urine. High fat foods, oxalates and phosphates can slow down the absorption of magnesium in the intestine.

Around 25 grams of magnesium are present in the organism (in a person weighing 70 kilograms). A good half is in the bones, a little less in the muscles and only one percent in the blood. The bones also act as magnesium stores. However, the magnesium content in bones decreases over the course of life.

In addition, minerals are divided into bulk and trace elements. Magnesium is one of the bulk elements because the body needs relatively large amounts of it, unlike trace elements such as iodine and copper.

Why Magnesium is Vital

Magnesium is involved in the activation of over 300 enzymes in the body, including in the protein structure. The mineral takes on decisive tasks for energy and cell metabolism and regulates many vital functions, including:

  • Impulse transmission in muscle and nerve cells, magnesium ensures normal conduction of excitation in nerves and muscles. In connection with nerves, magnesium also supports brain functions and via the muscles, for example, the heart muscle. Adequate magnesium intake even seems to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, a study suggests.
  • Magnesium influences the heart rhythm and blood pressure.
  • It relaxes muscles, nerves and blood vessels and can reduce the production of stress hormones. This normalization of the excitability of nerves and the vascular tension is probably responsible for the fact that with an adequate supply of magnesium, among other things, the number of migraine attacks demonstrably decreases, as the analysis of several studies showed.
  • Magnesium can reduce the clumping of blood platelets, so it can support normal blood clotting. The risk of having a stroke decreases when the body receives enough magnesium, further research shows .
  • It is involved in the utilization of glucose and in blood sugar control. The risk of type 2 diabetes has been shown to decrease if the mineral is taken in sufficiently.
  • Magnesium is an important antagonist of calcium, prevents too much calcium from being stored, for example in muscles, but also vessels and organs. Magnesium can prevent the formation of kidney stones, which often consist of calcium oxalate.
  • In addition, magnesium can neutralize too much stomach acid somewhat and thus reduce the risk of heartburn.
  • In conjunction with calcium and vitamin D, magnesium controls the bone metabolism. Among other things, magnesium supports the activation of vitamin D in the kidneys. Magnesium is therefore an important factor in preventing osteoporosis. Already existing osteoporosis could be slowed down somewhat by adequate intake, as a study suggests.
  • The mineral regulates important messenger substances that also play a role in the mental mood. Studies show that magnesium can have a similar effect on mild depression as certain antidepressants , the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

Overall, these and similar studies provide strong indications that an adequate supply of magnesium, including through dietary supplements, is associated with a lower risk of numerous common diseases.