Next Article in Journal
Development and Validation of a Predictive Model of Hypovitaminosis D in General Adult Population: SCOPYD Study
Next Article in Special Issue
Nutritional Quality of Plant-Based Cheese Available in Spanish Supermarkets: How Do They Compare to Dairy Cheese?
Previous Article in Journal
The Window Matters: A Systematic Review of Time Restricted Eating Strategies in Relation to Cortisol and Melatonin Secretion
Previous Article in Special Issue
Designing Nutritionally Adequate and Climate-Friendly Diets for Omnivorous, Pescatarian, Vegetarian and Vegan Adolescents in Sweden Using Linear Optimization
 
 
Commentary

Unintended Consequences: Nutritional Impact and Potential Pitfalls of Switching from Animal- to Plant-Based Foods

by 1 and 1,2,3,*
1
Clinical Nutrition Research Centre (CNRC), Singapore Institute for Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore 117599, Singapore
2
Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117593, Singapore
3
Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour, Division of Human Nutrition and Health, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Winston Craig and Ujué Fresán
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2527; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082527
Received: 30 June 2021 / Revised: 15 July 2021 / Accepted: 20 July 2021 / Published: 23 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Diets: Working towards a Sustainable Future)
Consumers are shifting towards plant-based diets, driven by both environmental and health reasons. This has led to the development of new plant-based meat alternatives (PBMAs) that are marketed as being sustainable and good for health. However, it remains unclear whether these novel PBMAs to replace animal foods carry the same established nutritional benefits as traditional plant-based diets based on pulses, legumes and vegetables. We modelled a reference omnivore diet using NHANES 2017–2018 data and compared it to diets that substituted animal products in the reference diet with either traditional or novel plant-based foods to create flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets matched for calories and macronutrients. With the exception of the traditional vegan diet, all diets with traditional plant-based substitutes met daily requirements for calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron and Vitamin B12 and were lower in saturated fat, sodium and sugar than the reference diet. Diets based on novel plant-based substitutes were below daily requirements for calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin B12 and exceeded the reference diet for saturated fat, sodium and sugar. Much of the recent focus has been on protein quality and quantity, but our case study highlights the risk of unintentionally increasing undesirable nutrients while reducing the overall nutrient density of the diet when less healthy plant-based substitutes are selected. Opportunities exist for PBMA producers to enhance the nutrient profile and diversify the format of future plant-based foods that are marketed as healthy, sustainable alternatives to animal-based products. View Full-Text
Keywords: flexitarian; vegetarian; vegan; plant-based meat alternatives; nutrient intakes flexitarian; vegetarian; vegan; plant-based meat alternatives; nutrient intakes
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Tso, R.; Forde, C.G. Unintended Consequences: Nutritional Impact and Potential Pitfalls of Switching from Animal- to Plant-Based Foods. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2527. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082527

AMA Style

Tso R, Forde CG. Unintended Consequences: Nutritional Impact and Potential Pitfalls of Switching from Animal- to Plant-Based Foods. Nutrients. 2021; 13(8):2527. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082527

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tso, Rachel, and Ciarán G. Forde. 2021. "Unintended Consequences: Nutritional Impact and Potential Pitfalls of Switching from Animal- to Plant-Based Foods" Nutrients 13, no. 8: 2527. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082527

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop