Just Because It’s Vegan, Doesn’t Necessarily Mean It’s Healthier
I think that too many of us assume that because something is vegan, it’s automatically healthier than the meat-based alternatives. While this may be true in some regards, it’s not always the case. New research has come to light showing us that a variety of meat-free, vegan substitutes for conventional meat-based products contain a lot more salt than most of the meaty originals do themselves.
This is bad news for the health conscious among us, as we all know that a high salt intake can have some seriously negative effects on our overall health. The more salt we eat, the more excess water is stored in our bodies as our kidneys fail to filter our blood properly due to an improper electrolyte balance.
The more excess water in our system, the more our blood pressure rises, and over time, this can place serious strain on our arteries and hearts, raising the chances of strokes, heart disease, and kidney problems.
Because of this, we have placed restrictions on the amount of salt a person should include in their daily intake based on their age. For anyone over the age of 11, its 6g per day maximum. That doesn’t give you much leeway in terms of what you eat – especially if you consume vegan meat replacements!
In order to increase the flavor of these products, companies add excessive amounts of salt. For instance, Tofurky’s Deli Slices Smoked Hickory contains 3.5g of salt per 100g and Tesco’s Meat Free Bacon Style Rashers contain roughly 3.2g of salt per 100g serving. To give you an idea of how salty this is – normal seawater contains 2.5g of salt per 100g/ml!
While many argue that these products contain less monosaturated fats than conventional meat products, the excessive amounts of salt don’t exactly do your body a world of good either. It might be best for you to shop around and note how much salt (or sodium chloride, as it’s listed on most packaging), is contained in the product per 100g.
There’s nothing worse than replacing one unhealthy product with another – especially when you’re under the impression that you’re making the healthy choice.