Protein provides us with the building blocks of life — helping us make muscle, connective tissue, hair, blood, enzymes, neurotransmitters, and more. It is important that we’re consuming enough of this essential macronutrient if we want to feel strong, energized, balanced and healthy.
Research shows several different benefits for eating more than that minimum amount. For example, some studies suggest a protein intake above the RDA could support bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fractures.
Another fact to consider is the natural loss of muscle mass and strength as we age is associated with all-cause mortality and linked to the incidence of many chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and stroke, hypertension, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. To make matters worse, these diseases increase protein degradation and reduce our ability to synthesize skeletal muscle, creating an even higher demand for protein. For these reasons, it’s especially important to eat more protein as we age.
So what does this have to do with protein alternatives?
PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM FAKE ALTERNATIVES (as much as possible).
Be aware of the ingredients found in fake meats. Can you pronounce them? Do you know what they are? Many ingredients are certainly not foods. They could potentially be manufactured in a lab or made out of materials that your body won’t actually gain any nutritional value from.
Don’t be fooled by gimmicks and clever marketing! Be sensible and wise, if your food has an ingredient list of words you can barely pronounce and sounds more like a chemical storm than food items, please avoid it. A general rule of thumb, if you can’t read the word, your body can’t process it.
Just don’t subject your body to the incredibly hard work it must to do process (if it can), neutralize (if possible), and eliminate the garbage that is in these foodstuffs (not food, because let’s be honest, it’s not real food).
There is however, an alternative for there is a solution for every problem!
Homemade Bean Burgers
I LOVE THESE. Try them next time.
Combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan, bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer until lentils are soft (about 8-10 minutes). Drain extra water, let cool.
Mash beans in a large bowl and add lentils and other ingredients. Add more bread crumbs/flour if mixture is too wet. Shape into patties, place on baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.
Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add burgers. Flip until golden brown and heated throughout.
Serve as desired with favourite toppings.
As always, experiment with your food. Change the flavours, spices, ingredients. If you are ever looking for inspiration with recipes and what to eat, there are many great websites to check out as well, you can pop over to my Instagram. We post recipes regularly to encourage a wide variety of meal ideas to support your health and body!
Cara Janzen, H. BSc. RHN is an AURA Community member with a belief to help make you rich – nutritionally! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, she is equipped with a B.Sc. and have a background in Biological Sciences and Psychology.