Vegan options found no healthier than meat, study shows

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 2 months ago

A recent study analyzing 1,868 meals from 50 fast food chains across five countries, including the UK, found that vegan fast food options do not necessarily have fewer calories than their meat-based counterparts. The research, conducted by scientists in Poland and published in the journal Nutrition, examined the calorie content, nutrient quantities, and presence of allergens in various plant-based and meat-based meals.

The study revealed that vegan meals had lower levels of protein and sodium but higher levels of carbohydrates and sugar compared to meat-based meals. Contrary to popular belief, the researchers found that plant-based meals were not associated with lower calorie content. Lead author Mikołaj Kamiński from the Poznań University of Medical Sciences emphasized the importance of making informed food choices, especially for individuals with metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. The study debunked the notion that plant-based alternatives of popular fast-food dishes are automatically healthier choices.

Additionally, the research showed that meat-based meals were more likely to contain allergens such as dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, and mustard, while plant-based meals were more likely to contain allergens such as sesame, seeds, and nuts.

The findings of this study highlight the need for individuals to be aware of the nutritional content of their food choices, particularly when consuming fast food. It is crucial to consider factors such as calorie content, protein, sodium, carbohydrates, and sugar. The study also underlines the importance of a balanced diet, as recommended by the NHS Eatwell Guide, which includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, starchy carbohydrates, fiber, dairy or alternatives, proteins, unsaturated oils, and sufficient water intake. The guide advises adults to limit their daily intake of salt and saturated fat.

Ultimately, this study provides valuable insights into the nutritional composition of vegan and meat-based fast food meals. It encourages individuals to make informed decisions about their food choices and highlights the need for further research in this area.


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