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Plant-based food seems healthy but may not be the diet savior you think: study – New York Post

1 minute, 49 seconds Read

Think again before ordering that Impossible burger.

The plant-based options that have appeared on fast food menus in recent years are no healthier than traditional meat-based meals, a new study has found.

Researchers analyzed 1,868 meals from 50 fast food chains that operate in Australia, Canada, Poland, the UK or the US, the UK Times reports.

The team collected data on the calorie count, allergens, nutrients, fiber and salt in each meal.

They then compared the meaty meals to their plant-based counterparts from the same country and chain with a weight difference of no more than 10%.

Overall, the researchers concluded that there were no clear health benefits to ordering plant-based servings instead of meat options.


Fast food burger
The study team collected data on the calorie count, allergens, nutrients, fiber and salt in each meal and compared the meaty meals to their plant-based options. AP

“Our study shows that plant-based meals are not associated with lower calories, which consumers may not realize,” lead researcher Mikolaj Kaminski, of the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland, said to the Times.

In fact, the study found that, on average, plant-based meals had less protein and sodium and more carbohydrates and sugar — and they did not have fewer calories than meaty meals.

“Choosing plant-based substitutes for favorite dishes from fast food restaurants essentially involves trading protein-derived calories for those derived from carbohydrates,” the study published in the journal Nutrition concluded, according to the Times.


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Overall, the researchers concluded that there were no clear health benefits to ordering plant-based servings instead of meat options.
REUTERS

Plant-based diets have become more popular as health experts, wellness influencers and celebrities have touted the supposed benefits in recent years, claiming that the diet can provide better nutrition, a healthier heart and a lower risk for diabetes and cancer, among other things.

However, many have grown skeptical of the benefits of certain plant-based options.

“[This study] really emphasizes the importance of making informed food choices, especially when it comes to consuming fast food — even more so if you suffer from a metabolic disorder like Type 2 diabetes,” Kaminski said.

“It exposes the illusion that plant-based alternatives of popular fast food dishes are automatically a healthier choice,” he added.

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