Avoiding meat? Or just want to try something new? Many people buy meatless burgers, strips, nuggets, and other “veggie meats” to lower their risk of heart disease and cancer, to protect animals, or to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. In this Food Scoop, Lindsay and Paige show you how to buy the healthiest wannabe meats based on sodium, protein, taste, and more.
Check the chart below for our picks. (Note: you won’t find any Quorn products in our chart, because the main ingredient is “mycoprotein,” a euphemism for processed mold. It’s not just unappetizing; some people report severe vomiting and anaphylactic reactions after eating Quorn, which has been linked to two deaths.)
Best Bites (✔✔) have at least 10 grams of protein and no more than 250 mg of sodium. Honorable Mentions (✔) have no protein minimum and can have up to 350 mg of sodium. Both have no more than 2 grams of saturated fat. Products are ranked from least to most sodium, then most to least protein, then least to most calories. Unless noted, products are typically frozen.
Other relevant links:
- How to find the best veggie burgers, strips, etc. See: What to Eat: Here’s What to Look for in Veggie “Meats”
- Tips for choosing lunch meats with less sodium. See: Salt in Food: Look for Lunch Meats with Less Sodium
- What to put on a meatless lunch “meat” sandwich. See: What to Eat: Go Meatless in the Lunch Meat Aisle