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Plant-based diets are no fad. Interest in switching to meat alternatives has increased in recent years, with many citing health concerns as their primary motivation. As a result, gone are the rubbery, chewy, and noticeably fake vegetarian meat products that once saturated the market. Instead, consumers are spoiled for choice when choosing protein replacements.

Thanks to technology, today’s plant-based meat substitutes mimic the real thing in taste, texture, and appearance. The only remaining question is: how healthy are these ingredients exactly? Read on to learn about the benefits of plant-based eating, and endeavor to highlight them when promoting your menu.

#1: Reduces Bad Cholesterol Levels

A selection of fresh produce, including bowls of beans, nuts, and grains.

Diets with high-fat consumption can increase bad cholesterol levels in the body. Countless studies show that eating plant-based food is the quickest way to lower cholesterol. Why plants? Because vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts contain plant sterols and soluble fibers. Here’s what you need to know about these substances:

  • Plant sterols are natural compounds that help limit the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the intestine. You get more sterols from a diet dependent on plant-based meat products.
  • Soluble fiber is the kind that easily dissolves in water. It produces a gel that helps improve digestion and reduce blood cholesterol and sugar. The best sources of soluble fiber are oats, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, and psyllium. Not sure where to begin? Try this quick oatmeal nasi lemak recipe.

#2: Decreases Risk of Heart Disease

A person pours dressing over a serving of salad.

Excessive consumption of meat, cheese, and eggs results in plaque buildup in the arteries. Counter this with a plant-based diet rich in fiber, low in saturated fats, and lacking in bad cholesterol. The good news? Vegetarian and vegan diets aren’t just about salads. You can serve loaded vegetarian burritos or crispy burger sandwiches sans the guilt. Protein alternatives make it possible to enjoy dishes without sacrificing flavor and nutritional content. Take The Vegetarian Butcher NOChicken Burger, for example. It’s an excellent source of iron, vitamin B12, and fiber.

#3: Lowers Chances of Type 2 Diabetes

Wooden spoons with a selection of beans, lentils, and seeds.

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 6% of the world’s population. According to the World Health Organization, “Prevalence has been rising more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.” The main culprits? Poor diet and lifestyle choices.

Switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet is an effective method for preventing and managing diabetes. Studies reveal that plant proteins lower the risk of the disease. If you want to offer something for diabetics in your restaurant, go beyond sugar alternatives and maximize plant-based ingredients as well. For example, you can offer a flavorful quesadilla or meatless Japanese curry made with The Vegetarian Butcher’s NOChicken Chunks.

#4: Improves Gut Health

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Plant-sourced dietary fiber (prebiotics) is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that stimulates the growth of good gut bacteria (probiotics). Thus, it’s beneficial to highlight how vegetarian and vegan practices promote healthy bacterial growth. Ease diners into a plant-based eating habit with a kimchi rice bowl. Level up the dish by topping it with protein-packed The Vegetarian Butcher NOMince, also an excellent source of iron and vitamin B12.

#5: Lessens the Possibility of Certain Cancers

A variety of herbs and spices on a kitchen counter.

Although no specific diet guarantees a person can become cancer-free, eliminating meat can lower the risk. One benefit of consuming plant-based meat alternatives is getting a variety of phytochemicals. These are natural chemical compounds with anti-inflammatory properties known to fight cancer. More importantly, these nutrients can protect against cellular damage. Pair plant-based protein with other immunity-boosting ingredients, herbs, and spices to prioritize your customers’ well-being.

#6: Boosts Athletic Performance

A woman prepares a healthy post-workout meal.

By following a plant-based diet, athletes gain essential vitamins and nutrients the body needs for training and competitions. They also get the necessary calories and macronutrients for optimum performance and recovery. Businesses looking to attract the health-conscious crowd should make the most of the convenience of wholesome meat alternatives.

#7: Alleviates Arthritic Pain

Different cuts of steak styled with fresh vegetables and herbs.

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition affecting one or more joints. Eliminating food that can trigger swelling is the primary step to alleviating arthritic pain. Replace culprits, like sodium-rich food or animal products containing trans and saturated fats, with vegan meat options. You can achieve this by providing patrons with an array of delectable plant-based dishes.

#8: Achieves Brighter Glowing Skin

A woman eating a plate of salad.

Many people strive to achieve a clear and glowing complexion. However, not all are familiar with how eating practices affect skin quality. Experts claim that the primary cause of countless skin issues is dairy consumption. Studies on both men and women also reveal how milk-based products exacerbate acne. Besides eliminating dairy, switching to a vitamin-fuelled plant diet can improve skin health drastically.

Bonus: The Environmental Impact of Plant-Based Diets

A group of cows grazing on farmland.

Mounting climate change issues are causing many individuals to rethink their lifestyle choices and eating habits. Converting to plant-based food affects health positively, but can it impact the environment similarly? Here’s how cutting meat can help Mother Earth.

Minimizes agricultural land use.

Reports reveal that animal agriculture occupies a large portion of the earth's landmass. To free up land, meat production must significantly decrease.

Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the years, multiple data show that food production is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. According to peer-reviewed studies by the University of Oxford and Johns Hopkins University, faux meat manufacturing generates fewer gasses than animal food.

Saves water.

Did you know that producing half a kilogram of beef requires 1,800 gallons of water? Therefore, cutting down on animal products can also reduce water consumption. It also lessens water pollution caused by rearing and processing animal products.

Helps diminish global hunger.

Animal agriculture utilizes resources inefficiently. By swapping animal meat for plant-based alternatives, grains used to feed livestock can be allocated for human consumption instead.

Now that you know the health benefits of plant-based diets, you can optimize both your menu and marketing efforts more effectively. Highlight the advantages that best answer your clientele’s needs. Meat-free consumption is here to stay; make sure your food business isn’t left behind.