Choosing health-conscious plant-based meats

How to choose healthier options.

Caitlyn Adler

Caitlin Arnold is a vegan Accredited Sports Nutritionist, Strength & Conditioning coach and bodybuilder at Plant Forged Physique. Her passion is helping vegans achieve their health and fitness goals with evidence-based guidance and expertise.

It feels like almost every week you can walk into a grocery store and see a new plant-based meat product. It’s absolutely fantastic to see the increasing visibility of vegan products and the range of options available.

Plant-based meats are designed to taste delicious and appeal to a large audience. Perfect for a tasty and convenient meal. They can also add variety, introduce people to veganism, and make a plant-based diet easier to sustain long term.

As taste and appeal is the first and foremost priority, nutrition is often secondary  for some products. So the nutritional quality of mock meats has a spectrum.

This can be challenging for someone working towards a health or fitness goal – especially if they are aiming for a protein or calorie target. They will want plant-based meats that are efficient sources of protein and are nutritionally dense.


In this scenario, we want plant-based products to meet some of these criteria:

1 It’s a complete or quality protein 

The ingredients feature soy, or use a combo of wheat/peas/legumes/rice/seed proteins

2 Efficient protein source 

Preferably >14g of protein per 100 calories, or >2.5g of protein per 1g of fat and more grams of protein than carbs.

3 Low in saturated fat & sodium 

<2g of saturated fat per 100g

<450mg of sodium per 100g

4 Nutrient dense 

Fortified with iron, B12 or zinc – or naturally rich in these


Does that mean you should avoid products that don’t meet this criteria?

No! Other products might not be as health-seeking or protein-efficient but that does not mean they should be excluded completely.

Enjoying your food is still important and these products play an important role by being a delicious indulgence or tasty treat to have on occasion.

Your goal and the purpose of the meal (i.e. to fuel your training vs. an indulgent meal) will influence how important it is for the product to meet the criteria above.

Which products fit the bill?

We’ve gathered together a few of our favourite products that tick all or most of the criteria above.

However, don’t feel limited by our recommendations, as new options are becoming available all the time. Check the ingredients list and find the plant-based meats that work best for you.

NOTE: Vegan Easy does not have a commercial agreement with any of the following companies – these products were chosen based upon their nutritional content only. Some providers may also manufacture non-vegan products, which we do not endorse.



Sunfed Bull Free Beef – Raw Prime Mince

Sunfed Chicken Free Chicken – Wild Meaty Chunks

Sunfed Boar Free Bacon – Premium Hickory

Sunfed Bull Free Beef – Raw Prime Diced



Quorn Frozen Vegan Fillets

Gold & Green Pulled Oats Nude

Next! Plant Based Chick N Chunks



 Plant Asia Plant-based Roast Duck

 Plant Asia Plant Based Roast Chicken

 Plant Asia Plant-based Roast Pork



 Deliciou Plant Based Chicken

 Deliciou Plant Based Pork

 Birds Eye Plant Based Chicken Strips

Key takeaways

Plant-based meats can be super convenient and tasty! The nutritional quality varies from product to product, so they exist on a spectrum from delicious occasional indulgence to nutrient-dense and protein-packed.

It’s just a matter of flipping over the pack, giving the nutrition label a glance, and seeing where on the spectrum of health-seeking to indulgent it sits. Depending on your goal and the purpose of the meal, different products will fit different scenarios.




Plant Forged Physique provides specialty vegan and plant-based coaching. As no one person is the same, none of their coaching is ever the same, with all of it tailored to you – no matter your goal, lifestyle or needs. Visit their website to learn more and get in touch or follow @plantforgedphysique for more content like this.


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