Red Meat Alternatives: What to Eat Instead of Red Meat

Get the taste and feel, without all the risks

Red Meat Alternatives

If you’re like most people, one of the first things you look at when trying to improve your health is the food you eat.

Frequent red meat consumers for example sometimes want other alternatives. 

Although researchers agree that the frequent consumption of red meat poses heart health risks, the average American consumes around four and a half servings of red meat each week.  

It is not surprising that for several reasons — some personal, ethical or health — people you’re looking to choose red meat alternatives.

A read meat substitute or meat alternative essentially is any type of food that resembles meat in terms of look, taste, and feel, however, it doesn’t contain any meat.

If you want to take a break from the red meat or just want to find other alternatives that can give you the same feel in the mouth but not the same health risks, here are some options for you.

1. Tofu

The origin of tofu is Soybean, and soybeans are significantly considered as a complete plant-based source of protein

Researchers at the University of Perugia report that Tofu is not in any way harmful to health and it is a very good protein source

The process of making Tofu is similar to that of cheese. Manufacturers condense soy milk and then make them into different firm shapes. 

People looking to switch from eating meat, enjoy Tofu as an alternative because it can be cooked in different ways – steamed, fried, or even baked sometimes.

Every 100 calories of serving tofu contain 11 grams of protein which is higher than 100 calories of meat which is 8.9 grams.

2. Lentils

I love lentils. From the legume family, Lentils are edible seeds. They are well known for their lens shape and are sold with or without intact outer shells. 

Lentils consist of over 25 percent protein, which makes it an excellent alternative to meat. 

They are also a great source of iron, a mineral that is sometimes missing from a vegetarian diet as per the Food Science and Technology Program Beijing University

There are 12g of protein per serving of lentils. Lentils are easy and quick to cook, and relatively affordable compared to red meat.

3. Tempeh

Similar to Tofu, Tempeh is soy-based and a good substitute for meat. To make Tempeh, manufacturers ferment cooked soybeans and once that’s done, they create the mixture into a firm, dense-like block 

Tempeh, however, does have an important difference compared to Tofu: it holds a better shape and is firmer than Tofu

This means that it’s easier to cut into different sizes and slabs for servings on any other occasion. It’s great as small chunks on a salad or for a grill party or just to stir fry.

A cup of tempeh has around 30 grams of protein. This makes it a really good protein replacement for those looking for red meat alternatives. It also contains good fat and cholesterol, calcium, and iron.

4. Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Textured or texturized vegetable protein (TVP) is made out of soybeans. Also known as Total Soy Protein (TSP), the process of making this is one of isolation.

Manufacturers separate the protein from the soybean itself in a heating process.

While TVP is trademarked for a company, TSP is a common related name for it. It is a good replacement for meat because it is high in protein, and has a texture comparable to meat in many ways.

A serving of TVP contains about 35 grams of protein.