Comparison of nutritional profile between plant-based meat analogues and real meat: A review focusing on ingredients, nutrient contents, bioavailability, and health impacts

Food Res Int. 2024 Jul:187:114460. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2024.114460. Epub 2024 May 3.


In order to fully understand the nutritional heterogeneity of plant-based meat analogues and real meat, this review summarized their similarities and differences in terms of ingredients, nutrient contents, bioavailability and health impacts. Plant-based meat analogues have some similarities to real meat. However, plant-based meat analogues are lower in protein, cholesterol and VB12 but higher in dietary fiber, carbohydrates, sugar, salt and various food additives than real meat. Moreover, some nutrients in plant-based meat analogues, such as protein and iron, are less bioavailable. There is insufficient evidence that plant-based meat analogues are healthier, which may be related to the specific attributes of these products such as formulation and degree of processing. As things stand, it is necessary to provide comprehensive nutrition information on plant-based meat products so that consumers can make informed choices based on their nutritional needs.

Keywords: Bioavailability; Health impacts; Ingredients; Meat analogues; Nutrient contents.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability*
  • Diet, Vegetarian
  • Food Ingredients / analysis
  • Humans
  • Meat / analysis
  • Meat Products* / analysis
  • Meat Substitutes
  • Nutrients / analysis
  • Nutritive Value*