Facts and Benefits of Plant-Based Meat: is it a healthier option?
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Facts and Benefits of Plant-Based Meat: is it a healthier option?

10 Mins read
cigna-teamAuthorCigna Team

Rising health consciousness and growing awareness on environmental sustainability issues has led to more consumers cutting down on meat consumption. Apart from traditional bean-based protein sources such as tofu, consumers are now presented with plant-based meat that look and taste very much like meat.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are the two main purveyors of plant-based beef, and both brands later launched plant-based chicken. Hong Kong-based Omnipork has products including plant-based ground pork and luncheon meat.

Plant-based meat manufacturers have spent years to find ways to mimic the chewy texture, taste and appearance of real meat. So here we are with the most important question: what is plant-based protein made of?

Pea protein is the main ingredient for Beyond Meat's burger patties, while Impossible Food uses soy leghemoglobin, a genetically modified ingredient to create the texture and iron-rich mouthfeel.

If you think you have seen blood oozing out from the plant-based meat, it is likely to be food colouring such as beet juice extract used by Beyond Burger.

OmniPork, made from soy, pea, mushroom and rice proteins, is the mimetic substitute of pork. This plant-based alternative successfully retains the same succulent and  tender texture of its original version.

Plant-based meat typically is lower in calories, and can potentially contain more protein with lower amount of saturated fat. A 2020 study suggests swapping out red meat for plant-based meat alternatives can lower some cardiovascular risk factors. However, plant-based meat could also contain more sodium and its ingredients are highly processed.

Experts recommend that moderation is key since plant-based meat usually do not have the same nutrients as meat, such as Vitamin B2 and iron.

Here's a plant-based meat recipe that you can try out:



  • Plant-based pork - 1 pack
  • Lotus root (peeled) - 2 pieces
  • Korean rice cake - 150g
  • Red onion (shredded) - 1/2 piece
  • Big chili (shredded) - 1/2 piece
  • Spring onion (chopped) - as needed


  • Ginger (finely diced) - 3 tbsps
  • Ginger juice - 1 tbsp
  • Shaoxing wine - 2 tbsps
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
  • Soy sauce - 1 tbsp


  • Thinly sliced lotus root and soak in water, set aside.
  • Cook Korean rice cake in boiling water for 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water, then dice them and set aside.
  • In a frying pan, stir-fry red onion and chili until aromatic, then add the marinated meat and cook for a while. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and mix well.
  • Add diced Korean rice cake and stir well, set aside.
  • Assemble the lotus root by sandwiching the filling and spring onion.
  • Coat with fried powder, then deep-fried the lotus root until golden browned.

Beyond Meat and Omnipork are available in retail outlets like plant-based grocery store Green Common. Plant-based meat is not just for vegans, the products launched in the market over the recent years have completely revolutionized how we consume plant-based protein.


  1. How Do They Make Plant-Based Meat Behave Like Beef?
  2. Are Plant-Based Meat and Fish Healthier Than the Real Thing?
  3. FMCG trends: adapting to plant-based consumer demand
  4. Omn!pork recipes
  5. This vegetarian company wants to disrupt China's pork industry

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