Plant-Based Dieters Should Be Cautious of Processed Foods, Experts Say

Because of our hectic lifestyles, it’s easy to choose a processed product over a whole food. If you follow a plant-based diet, this may not seem like a big deal. It’s easy to assume that if the main ingredient is a vegetable, legume or soy, it should be healthy to eat, but that is not necessarily the case. Because of advances in food technology, plant-based processed products are less healthy than ever. The more a food is processed, the less natural it is, which often means it is less nutritious as well. Today, many plant-based products are also high in sodium and saturated fats, and some, like certain plant-based meat products, are made with genetically modified ingredients. While it may seem tempting to just replace animal products with meat substitutes, it is better to focus on whole foods, like beans and lentils. Experts in nutrition are now confirming that this is still the best approach.

Good Morning America recently featured a special on plant-based diets and asked four experts for their opinion.[1] The consensus was that whole foods are always superior to processed foods, even when the latter ones are vegetarian. Savvy shoppers should be cautious of food products catering to the plant-based trend in general. Another thing to watch out for is the current focus on high-protein products. While it is important to ensure you eat enough protein, especially on a plant-based diet, many Americans actually consume too much of it.[2] High-protein diets really do help people lose weight, which is why they are so popular, but they come with health risks. A new study published in the journal Nature Metabolism found that consuming too much protein causes unstable plaque in the arteries, which can increase the risk of a heart attack.[3]

At Karuna, we have long realized the importance of whole foods, which is why our products only include natural, minimally processed ingredients. We focus on whole plant ingredients, which means we utilize as much as possible of the plant to minimize food waste and make the final product as close to the whole ingredients as possible.

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