What You Need to Know About Plant-Based, Vegetarian Diets, and Meat Substitutes

by Echo Store on July 17, 2021

One of the best ways to lead a healthier and environmentally sustainable lifestyle is through plant-based diets. As more consumers are becoming health-conscious and eco-conscious, more people are turning vegan and vegetarian.


Today, plant-based diets are no longer just a fad. It’s a way of life. Here’s a closer look at what it means and why you should consider this lifestyle.


What is a plant-based diet and is it the same as a vegetarian diet?

A plant-based diet is focused on filling up your plate with more plant foods. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, oils, and beans.

This diet is not restrictive. Instead, you are eating more foods from plant sources. You can follow this diet but still eat meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and dairy occasionally or in small amounts.

These plant foods should also be organically sourced and undergo minimal to no processing for them to be considered better for your body.

Vegetarianism, on the other hand, involves abstaining from meat, fish, and poultry. It is plant-based and can take on several forms:

  • Vegan – eliminates all meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products, as well as animal-derived products like honey
  • Vegetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian – eliminates meat, seafood, and poultry but allows eggs and dairy products
  • Lacto-vegetarian – eliminates meat, seafood, poultry, and eggs but allows dairy
  • Ovo-vegetarian – eliminates meat, seafood, poultry, and dairy products but allows eggs
  • Pescatarian – eliminates meat and poultry but allows seafood, eggs, and dairy
  • Flexitarian – allows eggs and dairy and occasional meat, poultry, and seafood

Benefits of plant-based diets

People adopt plant-based for several reasons concerning health, religion, or even ethical issues. Regardless of one’s motivation, the health benefits cannot be denied.

  • Low in saturated fat, contains healthy fats, and provide more fiber
  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Aids weight loss
  • May reduce risk of cancer and other illnesses
  • Helps stabilize blood sugar

Going vegan also helps end animal cruelty and helps the environment. Livestock production is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, waste pollution, and climate change.


Meat substitutes and vegetarian choices

Most vegetarian diets require eliminating or lessening meat consumption, which can be challenging for newbies and meat-lovers. Fortunately, plant-based meat substitutes still provide key nutrients and taste just as good.

Common meat substitutes include tofu, mushroom, bean, lentils, and chickpeas. Faux meat, like vegetarian sausages and plant-based burger patties, are also great meat alternatives.

The locally manufactured Wonder Meat products are made of peas, black mushroom, and beetroot. They’re 100% plant-based, free of GMO, gluten, soy, MSG, and preservatives. What’s more, you can’t even tell the difference. From appearance to mouthfeel and flavor, it looks, tastes, and feels like real meat.

Wonder Burger comes in classic and mushroom variants and is perfect for guilt-free snacking. Wonder Grounds, on the other hand, is a great substitute for any dish that uses ground meat. Ideal for healthier nachos, lasagna, meatballs, or tacos.

Sunakku Mushroom Cracklings by Vegetari is also a great snacking alternative that’s vegan-friendly and gluten-free. Made from shiitake mushrooms, this can replace your fish skin chips, chicken skin cracklings, or traditional pork chicharron.

Whatever diet you choose, we recommend filling up your plate with more plant foods and less processed foods. And with the above meat alternatives, you don’t even have to give up the comfort food you once enjoyed.