Is Tofurky Actually Worse Than the Real Thing?

By Perry Santanachote, Life by Daily Burn

One of the biggest meat-eating vacations is upon us: Thanksgiving. A hour when even the most steadfast vegetarians implore a centerpiece to carve; when steely will and tasty side foods alone wont cut it.

Many imitation turkey makes, including Tofurky, are available this time of year to cater to the 7 percent of Americans that consider themselves vegetariansespecially those who still miss their meat. Dr. Brian Wansink, a meat psychologist at Cornell University and generator of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, says, People who are attracted to meat-shaped veggie foods are vegetarian for health reasonableness , not animal-rights reasons, and theyre the most difficult developing part of that market.

A Mintel report shows that surely 36 percentage of consumers( including non-vegetarians) are buying meat alternatives to be healthier. But are these makes certainly any better for us? Sure, cutting back on meat( specially red flesh) can help prevent myocardial infarction and cancer in a number of cases, but superseding it with treated flesh substitutes comes with world prices of its own.

Most meat replacements are highly treated and full of artificial fillersnot unlike the hot dogs we might have already sworn off. Numerous are made from soy protein isolate, wheat gluten and other textured vegetable proteins, but also questionable ingredients that help gel and mold them into meat-like shapes.

Rachel Berman, R.D ., scribe of Boosting Your Metabolism for Dummies and health editor at, says to read the box before buying. Be distrustful of a long ingredient roll, she says. The more it has, the more likely there are additives and preservatives in there to stabilize the food, include flavor, or change its consistency.

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Some of these additives put into processed foods include unhealthy quantities of extra salt, fatten and sugar and those are the ingredients we are in a position enunciate! Other artificial additives have been shown to have side effect that include nausea, dizziness, weight income, weakened absorption of minerals and vitamins, and even cancer. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a list of additives to evades and their potential side effect.

Most parts in simulated turkeys still do examine better than treated fleshes, and better than many other meat substitutes in the frozen food slouse, very. But not all are created equal.

For those vegetarians buying a bogus goose this year, Berman recommends opting for the purposes of an all-natural select like Gardeins Savory Stuffed Turky. Theyre making an effort to use all-natural parts , good-for-nothing genetically engineered and primarily stuffs that youre be permitted to enunciate, she says. Plus, they contain no compounds or genetically modified soy, which most others use.

Products like Quorns Turky Roast, which expends mycoprotein, a processed mold, gets a big thumbs down for Berman. There have been many reports of this substance justification gastrointestinal distress and no experiment saying this is something that is healthy, she says. Its totally artificial and basically a fungus made in a test tube.

Like many processed foods, phony flesh is likewise high in sodium, but it doesnt have as much saturated flab as the real stuff. Most of them, however, match real turkey gram for gram when it is necessary to protein, plus they include fiber, which is a bonus. So, plowing yourself to a faux turkey one day out of the year isnt going to kill you, but its not exactly health food, either. I dont really like to name any one food good or bad because its really about resources in the amount of what youre gobbling in a day, says Berman. If youre going to eat an imitation meat, only make sure the rest of your meal is coming from the earth.

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So why not just opt for Thanksgiving tofu and dark-green beans instead? Many vegetarians find its difficult to shake habit on this holiday. Its not just about meat, but its also habits and visuals, says Wansink. Theres a lot of discrepancy with other vacation dinners, but not with Thanksgiving. Theres the traditional five recipes, and if you stray too far, people will think youre cheating them of an experience.

Its not the goal of Thanksgiving to be the healthiest meal of its first year anyway, lends Wansink. Its point must therefore be gleeful and thankful.

Whats Really in Tofurky and Other Vegetarian Turkey

Here are some of the more common repetitions roasts available during the course of its holiday season, ranked in order from excellent to worst by Rachel Berman.

1. Gardein Savory Stuffed Turky
Dishing Width: 1 article( 150 g)
Calories: 280, 110 calories from fat
Fat: 12 g( 1g sit. flab)
Sodium: 590 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Protein: 23 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g

Ingredients :
water, soy protein isolate *, vital wheat gluten *, expeller pressed/ canola oil, organic ancient cereal flour( kamut, amaranth, millet, quinoa ), natural flavors( from plant informants ), modified vegetable gum, yeast extract, sea salt, potato starch, organic cane carbohydrate, onion pulverize, garlic pulverization, pea protein, carrot fiber, beetroot fiber, extractives of paprika and turmeric. cram: sea, substance crumbs( wheat flour *, natural cane carbohydrate, yeast, ocean salt, canola lubricant ), onions, celery, cranberries, canola lubricant, natural flavors( from flower roots ), yeast remove. breading: wheat flour *, water, sugar, wheat gluten *, spices, salt, paprika, leavening( bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar ), yeast, onion pulverize, extractives of paprika. * non-genetically engineered soy and wheat

2. Tofurky Roast
Sufficing Length: 1/6 roast( 147 g)
Calories: 300, Calories from Fat 60
Fat: 7 g,( 0 g sat. fatty)
Sodium: 620 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Protein: 42 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g

Ingredients :
ROAST: Water, vital wheat gluten, organic tofu( filtered sea, organic whole soybeans, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride ), expeller pressed non-genetically engineered canola lubricant, natural vegetarian flavors, shoyu soy sauce( liquid , non-genetically engineered soybeans, wheat, salt, culture ), non-genetically engineered corn starch, white bean flour, garbanzo bean flour, lemon juice from centralize, onion, carrots, celery, salt, calcium lactate from beets.

STUFFING: Organic brown rice, whole wheat bread cubes( whole wheat, filtered irrigate, unbleached wheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic palm lubricant, ocean salt, yeast, natural enzymes, ascorbic acid ), onion, celery, expeller pressed non-genetically engineered canola petroleum, organic wild rice, natural vegetarian salt, granulated garlic, herbs and spices.

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3. Field Roast Celebration Roast
Acting Length: 4 ounces( 114 g)
Calories: 280, 90 calories from fat
Fat: 10 g (. 5g sit. paunch)
Sodium: 710 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Protein: 31 g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g

Ingredients :
Filtered water, vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower lubricant, naturally avored yeast extract, barley malt, whole wheat flour, granulated garlic, butternut squash, organic wheat akes, onion pulverize, apples, garlic, mushrooms, yellowish pea our, lentils, lemon juice, irish moss( sea veggie) obtain, sea salt, red wine, tomato paste, black pepper, rubbed sage-green, rosemary, paprika, spices, natural liquid fume and carrots.

4. Five Star Foodies Vegetarian Harvest Roast
Sufficing Length: 1 wheel( 170 g)
Calories: 290, 110 calories from fat
Fat: 12 g
Sodium: 830 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Protein: 30 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g

Ingredients :
Seitan( sea, wheat gluten, whole wheat flour ), unbleached white, oat, rye, soy flour, millet, poppy& sesame seeds, soy sauce( water, wheat, soybeans, salt ), vegetable flavouring, yuba( soybeans, ocean ), organic sugar, salt, olive oil, spices, yeast

5. VegeUSA Vegan Whole Turkey
Dishing Sizing: 2.5 ounces
Calories: 160
Fat: 9 g
Sodium: 450 mg
Sugar: 3 g
Protein: 13 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g

Ingredients :
Soybean fiber, soybean protein, vegetable protein, raw cane carbohydrate, starch, soybean lubricant, natural vegan flavor, ocean salt, cinnamon pulverization, tofu skin

6. Quorn Turky Roast
Acting Width: 90 g
Calories: 100, 40 calories from fat
Fat: 4.5 g( 1g baby-sit. fatten)
Sodium: 540 mg
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Protein: 13 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g

Ingredients :
Mycoprotein( 59% ), Water, Onion, Natural Flavors From Non-Meat Sources, Refined Rapeseed Oil, Rehydrated Egg White, Milk Proteins. Contains 2% or less of Potato Maltodextrin, Salt, Tapioca Dextrin, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Sage Extract, Garlic Powder, Gum Arabic; Sunflower, Coconut and Palm Kernel Oil.

For comparing: Cooked Turkey Meat with Skin
Providing Width: 3 ounces
Calories: 165
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 54 milligrams
Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Dietary Fiber: 0 grams

Originally posted on November 2013. Updated November 2015.

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