Jun 21, 2006

Runner's World Weighs In On Meatless Alternatives

I was reviewing some nutrition articles on Runnersworld.com, and one article really caught my attention.

In Faking It, the author discusses vegitarianism and running, but more importantly what products we should be eating, as well as what to look out for.

The article stresses the importance of checking labels. Noting tht there are over 12 million vegitarians in teh US, the ease of fake meats, and meat-alternatives is becoming more readily available in the supermarkets. Also discussed is how vegitarian eating is often considered virtuos, however the fake foods out there - processed vegitarian alternatives to common meat products - often are more fattening, and thus less healthy than their meat counterparts.

Fresh foods are always preferred, as I think we all agree regardless of your eating preferences, but not all alternatives are bad.

A list given shows their top picks for processed vegitarian foods.
  • Amy's Chicago Veggie Burger: A tasty mix of mushrooms, walnuts, grains, and veggies.
  • Amy's Texas Veggie Burger: Soy, veggies, and grains with a great barbecue flavor.
  • Boca Burger Meatless Meatballs: Amazingly meat-like and robust for a soy burger.
  • Boca Ground Burger: Same great taste to try in chili or in pasta sauce.
  • Gardenburger Meatless Grilled Chicken: Soy and veggie patty with a natural chicken taste and texture.
  • Gardenburger Meatless Meatballs: Soy-based with lots of herbs and spices.
  • Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Patties: Quite filling and savory for a totally veggie burger.
  • Morningstar Farms Pizza Veggie Burger: Tomato and basil flavor this soy and veggie burger.

As with all foods - vegitarian or not - I believe that you need to experiemnt with the foods available to find those which best suit your lifestyle, budget, and taste. Personally, I love Amy's products, which are organic and great for vegans and vegitarians. They have great food value, and although pricey at times, as a supplement to fresh produce are still often less expensive than the meat aplternatives.

Likewise - I prefer Morning Star over Bocca. The tastes are more to my liking, and the laternative patties and burgers they produce are pretty healthy. But many of my friends who also eat the vegitarian alternatives like Bocca over Morning Star, so it is all personal taste!

The underlying issue here is that just because it is meat-free does not mean that it is healthy all around. The binders, fillers, and misc. products companies must include in the products to simulate the meat laden alternaitive are often higher in sodium and fat than not.

Read labels, eat fresh when possible, and do not be afraid to try new things! Nutrition is fuel for a runner - and vegitables are wonderful!

Keep on eating,



Anonymous said...

This is all positive and encouraging info. thanks for sharing. Happy Running, G :)

saje wentz said...

thanks for sharing the alternatives. im a new vegan and those really helped.