Last month, France’s national food safety agency (ANSES) confirmed the link between consuming nitrites and the risk of colon cancer. Since then, many consumers have decided to reduce their consumption of deli meats and are looking for alternatives for back-to-school sandwiches. This week we analyze the veggie offer!
10 different vegetarian or vegan sausages were analyzed.
Each serving of approx. 40g (approx. 3 to 4 slices) provides:
- Between 52 and 100 calories
- Between 1 and 8 g lipids, of which between 0 and 0.4 g saturated fatty acids
- Between 4 and 11 g of protein
- Between 160 and 420 mg of sodium
- Between 0 and 3 g fiber
In the case of vegetarian sausage products, the protein intake remains relatively low. A choice of high protein bread (8-10g protein for 2 slices) achieves the desired protein intake for a meal.
the smoked veggie ham based on seitan commensal. It is the product with the lowest sodium content and one of the highest proteins. Each 40g serving contains 85 calories, 3g fat, 9g protein and 160mg sodium. In terms of ingredient list, it’s simple and short.
That imitation turkey from light life. This product is among the highest in protein (11g) and moderate in sodium (231mg). Each 40g serving (3 slices) provides 77 calories and 2.4g of fat.
That vegetarian turkey from Yves veggie kitchen. This product has a moderate sodium intake (240mg sodium) while being among the best options in terms of protein (10g). Each 41g serving (4 slices) provides 70 calories and 1g of fat. The list of ingredients is relatively short, but includes some food additives (e.g. potassium chloride).
THE LESSER GOOD CHOICE
Among the worst decisions are products Alternative cuisine. The options offered are low in protein (i.e. 4g per 40g serving). They provide 7-8 g of lipids and 270 to 420 mg of sodium. It is the veggie salami that contains the most sodium in the test. The products contain some food additives.
New additions to the vegetable department
The products are new to the market Arta Bona Bring variety to the produce department. They consist of white beans and soy and pea protein concentrate. The tuna-free salad provides 140 calories, 3g fat, 12g protein, 5g fiber and 280mg per 100g serving. The one without the chicken shows similar values with slightly less sodium (250 mg) and 13 g protein.
As for gustathe Quebec company offers grated seitan that provides 140 calories, 14 g protein, 7 g fat and 330 mg sodium per 50 gram serving. Tempehine features flavored tempeh that adds variety to our menus. In particular, discover her recipe for pita with tempeh, caesar sauce:
Vegetable powder, a source of nitrates?
If added nitrites have been linked to cancer, plant powders, natural sources of nitrates, are not always dangerous, even if some of them are converted to nitrites in the body. Anne-Marie Desbiens aka Scientific Foodie explains that these nitrites, produced by lactic acid bacteria in our mouth, are not a problem as our body would have to cook the food for nitrosamines to form. So these nitrites are there, but they don’t turn into potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines. On the other hand, in the case of cultured celery powder, the juice is concentrated, lactic ferments are added and a nitrite-concentrated product is obtained. Which are then cooked and run the risk of forming nitrosamines, the carcinogenic molecules, by binding to the ham’s proteins during cooking. Even derived from a cultivated vegetable, this product is little better than the nitrites added to cured meats.
However, some vegetarian alternatives contain vegetable powders, what about their actual nitrate levels? The druggist, an agricultural and food specialist, does not have to worry about nitrates in vegetable powders or even vegetables that contain a lot of them, because even if lactic acid bacteria convert nitrites into nitrites in our mouth, they are not cooked in our body and will not to nitrosamines.
Charlevoix organic meat removes celery powder
Photo from Facebook, organic meat from Charlevoix
If the presence of nitrites prompts you to look for alternatives to cured meats, Charlevoix Organic Meat has eliminated cultured celery powder from its products and now offers cured meats with fruit extracts and spices that completely replace nitrites and nitrates. A great innovation that deserves to be highlighted!
Check out my back to school sandwich ideas
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