"Fake" meat products for vegetarians, your opinion please



  • Fuzzipeg
    Fuzzipeg Posts: 2,285 Member
    If you "have" to have all the meat substitutes why go through the pretense.
  • yash505
    yash505 Posts: 9 Member
    been vegetarian over 20 years i dont use many fake products,but i wonder what they use for giving meat flavouring to meat free foods
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 27,591 Member
    ....are there any healthy low fat fake meat products?. I was going over my past meals on MFP and was a little shocked how it adds up. I love morning star and Boca but I am a little skeptical if they are healthy alternatives. That morning star bacon is like crack.... lol. I use the products to get protein mostly ( I also eat beans, nuts, leafy greens, chickpeas, almond milk, seeds). I just feel like I am not getting enough protein in my diet. I am always short when it comes to protein and too high when it comes to fat. HELP!

    I've been ovo-lacto vegetarian for 41 years. (Yes, since 1974: a hippie-girl adolescent whim gone seemingly permanent.)

    I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that I think it may be harder to stay in calorie deficit without being short on protein and high on fat when one is using more of the fake meat products. They may be (usually are) "healthier" in some general way than some mainstream pre-packaged processed foods, but they're still in the same neighborhood.

    I find it easier to stay within my calories & close to my macros with more minimally processed foods (NB: for me, this is an eating preference - because I find these tastier - not some kind of weird religion). However, this does require (play scary, dramatic music here! ;) ) actual cooking. Not very much of it, and not very complicated, but cooking rather than re-heating.

    Some pre-packaged simple foods I do like include the tempeh and soybeans (black soybeans or edamame among other types) mentioned above. Many other foods may taste more appealing if you pay attention to "umami" flavors (one of the basic tastes along with sweet, salty, etc.). Some umami things are miso, soy sauce, nuts (especially toasted ones), mushrooms, ripe tomatoes (especially if cooked down or browned), etc. You can use these as flavorings.

    To get enough protein, I'm more successful if I think less about eating some single big protein thing at each meal (as meat-eaters mostly do), and think more about weaving protein through the different parts of the meal - nuts or seeds on the salad, edamame in the mixed veggie stir-fry, greek yogurt on berries for dessert, for example. I also try to get some protein in most snacks (dry-roasted edamame, peanut butter, hummus, etc.). I'd have had a hard time getting protein to 1gm/pound of bodyweight, but even when I was eating 1200 net, I didn't have much trouble getting the basic MFP protein recommendation.

    I know this doesn't answer your explicit question ("healthy low fat fake meat products"), but it may shed some light on one way to get your macros with a lower calorie expenditure.
  • TinyTexn59
    TinyTexn59 Posts: 96 Member
    I suggest you go to the vegetarian resource group site and check out their post "protein in the vegan diet" it shows easy ways to get the required daily protein amounts. Also, black beans, pinto beans, seitan, tofu, tempeh, soybeans and lentils are high in protein. Even spinach has protein.
  • TorontoDiane
    TorontoDiane Posts: 1,389 Member
    whole foods has a deli section with a lot of fake meat.. and although I normally hate anything that is tasting like burgers etc.. cause I do not eat red meat or pork, or eggs.. I do occasionally eat chicken breast and seafood... but whole foods has a kung pao chicken non meat that is really yummy.. and their veggie burgers are quite good.. I do not like egg based food because of the taste and the best veggie burgers around are hard rock café.. which has nuts and veggies in it.. really good with onions lettuce tomato and bbq sauce .. you can actually taste the walnuts in them when I have been in the States you can sometimes buy them in grocery stores there but not in Canada
  • lucreatiared
    lucreatiared Posts: 2 Member
    Quorn! The chicken fillets are 45 cals each, and the mince is 75 for 79g. It's a filling, easy and low calorie source of protein. I'm not sure how available it is in other countries, but here in the UK it's easily the most popular vegetarian alternative and takes up 60-70% of the vegetarian sections in supermarkets.

    And for all the meat eaters scoffing at meat alternatives... Meat is a big part of (most of) our cultures, the majority of vegetarians grew up eating it, and a lot of recipes and traditions call for it. Just because you can recognise something doesn't fit into how you ethically choose to live your life, doesn't mean you lose the taste for it physically, or can detach yourself from the fact that meat is incorporated into most aspects of our society.

    I love quorn products (the bacon! yum!) and I don't even remember what meat products taste like since I stopped eating them 17 years ago. It's not about replacing meats for me, it's a food I enjoy in its own right.
  • dragthewaters91
    dragthewaters91 Posts: 7 Member
    edited September 2015
    I'm not a fan of the fake meats. I find them to be gross...vegetarian "bacon" is one of the nastiest foods I have ever eaten. But, to each their own. However on a more objective note, it can be harmful to eat too much soy due to estrogen mimicking chemicals that occur naturally in soybeans, which can cause hormonal issues. I have definitely noticed issues when consuming a lot of soy.

    I'm vegetarian and often eat over 100g of protein a day even with low soy consumption. On a typical weekday, at breakfast I get protein from Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and a smoothie involving PB2 and pea protein powder. At lunch I get protein from nuts and string cheese. For a snack I might have a Kind bar or Snapea crisps/lentil snaps, which both have some protein. At dinner it varies but protein sources include eggs, lentils, beans, tofu or veggie burgers occasionally. But even carb sources like bread, pasta and rice have some protein. I also agree that Amy's products are very good and many are low soy. Basically just small things here and there add up over the course of the day. I wouldn't worry about it too much, most people eat more protein than what their body requires.

    Anyway there are some foods that can reduce meat cravings. Vegetable tempura can stand in for chicken nuggets, fried shrimp, and that kind of stuff. Basically anything with a sauce, you can just put that sauce onto a non-meat product...for example last week I made BBQ tofu. Shake Shack mushroom burgers are different from a hamburger, but they're so good that they're actually better than a hamburger so you'll forget that you were craving one. But nothing can replace steak :(
  • catbhn21
    catbhn21 Posts: 24 Member
    shano25 wrote: »
    A lot of the brands that are being named, I haven't seen where I live (it's possible I have to go to a proper health food to find them rather than just using my local grocery store.)

    Target carries a lot now.
    I am a little skeptical if they are healthy alternatives. That morning star bacon is like crack.... lol.

    I like fake meat, hate the sodium. Quorn is my favorite. I agree with you, I'm not convinced they're healthier, but I keep some around for quick meals (I'm not a vegetarian btws)

    Personally, I love tofu! Freeze it and squish it like a sponge and it makes a lovely stir fry. Also, protein powder isn't awful if you put it in a milkshake :)

    Tempeh, Seitan and TV intimidate me, although I've had tasty stuff at restaurants and co-ops.

    Almond milk might not be the best choice: soy and dairy have more protein. And remember, the macros are general guidelines, not commandments.
  • MGarcia0504
    MGarcia0504 Posts: 51 Member
    Not sure if they have it in the states but in the UK there's Quorn products like ground beef, sausage and other meat substitutes to still make your recipes that call for meat but without eating meat. They're tasty. I only eat chicken and fish to help me fit my needs for lifting but don't eat red meat. I found it too difficult to meet my protein needs without some meat.
  • melimomTARDIS
    melimomTARDIS Posts: 1,953 Member
    I think the boca original vegan burgers are low fat, and they are definitely low calorie/high protien.
  • RuNaRoUnDaFiEld
    RuNaRoUnDaFiEld Posts: 5,864 Member
    I'm not vegetarian but I do like Linda Mccartneys soya mince, low calorie and high protein, tastes great and no-one in my house ever notices it isn't meat.

    I also like the Frys Meatless crispy prawns.
  • airbent
    airbent Posts: 150 Member
    thinking about trying to make some tofu jerky--high in protein, low in almost everything else, and WAY cheaper than buying or making meat jerky.
  • scyian
    scyian Posts: 243 Member
    I'm not a vegetarian but I eat a lot of Quorn products mainly because it's a lot less faff for cooking. I buy it, shove it in the freezer and can cook it from frozen. Got a Quorn shepherds pie for dinner tonight.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    I like most of the Morning Star stuff, but Boca was terrible, IMO.

    Not a huge fan of Quorn. Part of it is thinking "fungus" while eating it, which is silliness on my part, and it has a unique smell that I don't love. It doesn't taste too bad, though.

    The ones I've had are not what I'd call "the most healthy" kind of foods. They were all highly-processed frozen stuff.