Sun. Dec 5th, 2021

The salt content of plant-based meat is significantly higher than in meat equivalents, with more than three out of four plant-based meat products exceeding the salt targets, according to the health campaign Action on Salt.

In what it called the first study to examine the nutritional profile and overall health of plant-based meat available in the UK, researchers from the group analyzed 207 plant-based meat products against 226 meat products. The products were categorized into six main groups: sausages, burgers, regular poultry alternatives, breaded poultry alternatives, farce and meatballs.

They found that plant-based meat had significantly fewer calories, total and saturated fat, and more fiber than the meat equivalents. However, their salt content was significantly higher than meat in five out of six product categories.

The salt content of plant-based meat products turned out to be “unnecessarily high”, the research said, with more than 75% of the products studied not meeting the UK government’s salt reduction targets.

Only two (examined) plant-based products will be considered low salt with a green label on the front of the package (ie <0.3g / 100g), compared to 45 meat products.

According to researchers, plant-based foods often have a perceived ‘health halo’ (ie a product is automatically assumed to be healthy simply because it is vegetarian or vegan). But this research highlights that these foods may still be high in salt, they said.

Overall, more than three out of four plant-based products studied did not reach their respective salt reduction targets – making it even more relevant, proponents said, for the food industry to prioritize salt reduction: what they described as the most cost-effective strategy. to improve public health.


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