Nutritional comparison of plant-based chicken

image of chickens in a grass yard
Photo by Thomas Iversen on Unsplash

In an upcoming episode of the Nutrition Diva podcast, I’ll be talking about the pros and cons of plant-based chicken.

As  a supplement to that episode, I’ve put together a comparison of key nutrients and ingredients in several leading brands of plant-based chicken (as well as actual chicken).

The first table compares breaded nuggets, which is the most common format.  The second compares the one brand of unbreaded plant-based chicken I could locate with boneless, skinless chicken breast (cooked).

Note: The values in these tables may not match the numbers that you’ll see on the Nutrition Facts labels of these products. That’s because the manufacturers’ serving sizes ranged from 2.5 ounces (70g) to 3.5 ounces (95g). In order to make the comparisons fair, the tables below show the nutrient values for 3 ounces (85g) of each product.

Plant-based chicken nuggets (breaded)

3 oz servingChickenDaringMeatless FarmBeyond MeatImpossible
Calories214180240225216
Fat (g)117131311
Sat fat (g)312.521.5
Carb (g)1519221617
Fiber (g)04222
Sugars (g)0221<1
Protein (g)1410121412
Iron (mg)13212
Potassium (mg)191196370265510
Sodium (mg)379610400475430
Gluten freeNoNoNoNoNo
Soy freeYesNoYesYesNo
IngredientsChicken, water, wheat flour, contains 2% or less of the following: brown sugar, corn starch, dried garlic, dried onion, dried yeast, extractives of paprika, natural flavor, oat fiber, salt, spices, wheat starch, white whole wheat flour, yellow corn flour. Breading set in vegetable oil.Water, Soy Protein-Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Natural Flavor, Spices (Paprika, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mace, Cardamon), wheat flour, canola oil, water, yellow corn flour, potato starch, rice flour, salt, leavening (cream of tartar, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), sugar, dextrose, garlic, onion, yeast.Vegetable proteins (Water, Wheat Protein, Wheat Flour), Cornflakes (Corn, Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt Extract), Water, Sunflower Oil, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Flour, Pea Starch, Pea Protein, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Yeast Extract, Bamboo Fiber, Methylcellulose, Potassium LactateWater, Faba Bean Protein, Breading (Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Salt, Corn Starch, Pea Proteinᵗ, Canola Oil, Wheat Gluten, Paprika, Spices, Dextrose, Leavening[Sodium Acid Phrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate], Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Dried Onion, Dried Garlic, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors), Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Sugar, Sea Salt, Dried Yeast), Vital Wheat Gluten, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Flavors, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Pea starch, Methylcellulose, and 1% or less of Yeast Extract, Refined Coconut Oil, Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Sodium Phosphates, Spices, Titanium dioxide (for color), Sunflower Lecithin.Water, Wheat Flour, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil, , 2% or less Of: Potato Starch, Methylcellulose, Salt, Natural Flavors, Cultured Dextrose, Wheat Gluten, Yeast Extract, Yellow Corn Flour, Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Spices, Leavening (Cream of Tartar, Sodium Bicarbonate), Dried Yeast, Paprika Extract (for color), Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant) Vitamins and Minerals: (Zinc Gluconate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12).

Plant-based chicken vs chicken (plain)

3 oz servingChickenDaring
Calories128108
Fat (g)32
Sat fat (g)10
Carb (g)06
Fiber (g)06
Sugars (g)00
Protein (g)2617
Iron (mg)0.54
Potassium (mg)332416
Sodium (mg)44480
Gluten freeYesYes
Soy freeYesNo
IngredientsChickenWater, Soy Protein-Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Natural Flavor, Spices (Paprika, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mace, Cardamon)

Next 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade starts January 2nd

The next 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade program kicks off in just a few weeks (January 2nd, to be exact).

This fun and flexible group challenge is a great way to kick-start healthy routines and to stay motivated long enough for new behaviors to become established habits.

Over 1,000 people have now done this program with me and the results have been incredible!

  • Virtually all of the participants report that the program made a positive difference in their eating habits
  • Half of them reported losing weight (even though weight loss is not a goal of this program)
  • More than half also reported having more energy/better mood
  • Participants reported everything from enjoying their food more to improved digestion to feeling less hungry to finally bringing out of control snacking under control

But perhaps the best part is the the warm, supportive (and funny!)  community…men and women from all around the world, from college age to post-retirement, sharing their questions, challenges, and triumphs. Six years after the very first Upgrade, they’re still checking in with other, exchanging tips, recipes, and encouragement.  We’ve had meet-ups in half a dozen cities around the country.

It’s Your Turn!

The next 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade group challenge launches Sunday, January 2nd at 4pm ET.  (Yes, the session will be recorded if you can’t join us then.)

Cost: $49
Includes:

  • Live one-hour online class, plus Q&A for as long as there are questions.
  • Access to a video recording of the session afterwards.
  • Free tracking app
  • Downloadable handouts and other program materials.
  • Private Facebook group for ongoing (and I mean ongoing!) connection and support.

You’ll find lots more details here or, if you’re ready to take the plunge, you can:

RegisterNow

Tip: Add my email address to your contacts or safe sender list to be sure the registration info doesn’t land in your Spam/Junk folder.

Not sure if this is for you?

My post on “Is the 30-Day Challenge Right For Me?” has answers to frequently asked questions. And feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to answer any other questions you have and help you decide whether this is a good fit for you.

Nutritional comparison of beef and plant-based alternatives

In this week’s episode of the Nutrition Diva podcast, I explore how plant-based meat alternative compare with meat in terms of the nutritional and environmental aspect, along with new research on their effect on the microbiome.

Here are nutritional and ingredient details for three of the most common meatless brands, as well as two types of ground beef.

4 ounces (113 g), uncookedMeatless Farm GroundImpossible BurgerBeyond BurgerGround beef (85% lean)Ground beef (grass fed)
Calories (kcal)250240230240224
Total fat (g)1614141714.4
Sat fat (g)58576
Protein (g)19192019.422
Carb (g)119700
Fiber (g)33200
Cholesterol (mg)0006970
Sodium (mg)54037039074.676.8
Potassium (mg)210610330305327
Iron (mg)5.44.242.22.25
IngredientsWater, Pea Protein, Vegetable Oils (Canola, Shea), Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, and less than 2% of: Potassium lactate, Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Caramelized Carrot Concentrate for color, Potato Fiber, Potato Starch, Vegetable and Fruit Extracts for color, Salt, Molasses, Dried Vegetable (Potato, Onion), Sunflower Oil, Carrot Concentrate for color, Tomato Paste, Ascorbic Acid (Antioxidant), Concentrated Lemon Juice, Black PepperWater, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate, Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Water, pea protein*, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, rice protein, natural flavors, dried yeast, cocoa butter, methylcellulose, and less than 1% of potato starch, salt, potassium chloride, beet juice color, apple extract, pomegranate concentrate, sunflower lecithin, vinegar, lemon juice concentrate, vitamins and minerals (zinc sulfate, niacinamide [vitamin B3], pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], cyanocobalamin [vitamin B12], calcium pantothenate).Lean ground beefLean ground beef

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Are decorative pumpkins and gourds edible?

pumpkins-1708769_640

Jessica writes:

“We just threw out the pumpkins we had on our porch as decoration, and it made me wonder whether we could have eaten them. I bought them at the grocery store after all! 

Can you eat/cook any type of pumpkin? (I had a mix of regular, Cinderella, and maybe Yokohama.) If you can eat them, how long after you put them on your porch will they be edible? I’ve only used canned pumpkin to date, is the process of making your own challenging?”

Continue reading “Are decorative pumpkins and gourds edible?” >

Nutrition comparison of gluten-free flours

In this week’s episode of the Nutrition Diva podcast, I reviewed the nutritional benefits of watermelon seed flour in comparison to other gluten- and grain-free flours. You can listen to the episode here and below is a chart showing the nutritional values for several of the most common types.

1/4 cupCaloriesProtein (g)Fat (g)Sat fat (g)Carb (g)Fiber (g)Calcium (mg)Potassium (mg)
Watermelon seed flour17891535017207
Almond flour16061206472210
Coconut flour12063218106600
Cassava flour13000031220106
Gluten-free baking flour130200301459
Paleo baking flour110440.513327160
White pastry flour12030.50261658
Whole wheat pastry flour11040.502337111

What’s the healthiest way to eat rice?

In this episode of the Nutrition Diva podcast, I break down the differences between all the different types of rice. Which are most nutritious? Easiest on your blood sugar?

Nutritional comparison of rice varieties

1/2 cup, cookedCalories (kcal)Protein (g)Fat (g)Carbs (g)Fiber (g)Mg (%DV)
White, long grain1052022<12.4%
White, short grain1352029<12.1%
White, converted95202111.8%
Basmati (white)902021<12.4%
Jasmine (white)1052022<12.4%
Brown, long grain12531261.59.8%
Brown, medium grain1102123210.7%
Brown, converted11521241.37.6%
Black rice11531231~
Red rice11021232~
Wild rice8530181.56.5%
Haiga1022021<1~
Glutinous (sticky) rice852018<11%

How do pili nuts compare nutritionally?

This week’s Nutrition Diva podcast is all about the pili nut, the latest entry into the superfood derby.  Below is a chart showing how they stack up to other nuts nutritionally.

1 oz/30 g provides:Pili nutsAlmondsWalnutPeanutCashewMacadamiaCoconut
Calories200164185161157204101
Fat22 g14 g18 g14 g12.5 g21.5 g9.5 g
Saturated10 g1 g2 g2 g2 g3 g8.5 g
Monounsat.10 g9 g2.5 g7 g7 g17 g1.4 g
Omega 3----2.5 mg-- ------
Protein3 g6 g4 g7.5 g5 g2 g1 g
Fiber1 g3.5 g2 g2.5 g1 g2 g2.5 g
Vitamin E10 mg7 mg02 mg-----
Calcium40 mg76 mg28 mg26 mg10 mg24 mg4 mg
Magnesium85 mg76 mg45 mg48 mg83 mg37 mg9 mg

What’s the latest on A2 milk?

[Transcript]

There’s a certain amount of a genetic variation in dairy cows, just the way there is with people. That’s why some of us are left-handed and some of us have red hair!  And for Dairy cattle, one of those genetic variations leads to tiny differences in the proteins in their milk.

Beta-casein is the main protein in cow’s milk. And most of the dairy cattle here in the U.S. produce milk that contains two forms of beta casein…the A1 form and the A2 forms.  But some cattle produce milk that contains only the A2 form of beta casein.

The milk looks and tastes exactly the same. It has the same nutritional profile—same amount of protein, calcium, same amount of lactose. 

About 25% of the Western population experiences some degree of digestive discomfort after consuming cow’s milk…things like gas, bloating, or loose stools. We’re not talking about a milk allergy…that’s far less common and potentially more serious.  These digestive symptoms are relatively harmless and temporary but they can be uncomfortable and inconvenient.  And they are thought to be due to an inability to breakdown lactose, which is sugar in milk.

There are a few things you can do: You can avoid dairy products. You can take a lactase supplement when you eat dairy products, that’s an enzyme that helps break down the lactose so that it doesn’t cause problems. Or you can buy dairy products that have the lactose removed or reduced. 

And there are now a handful of studies showing that for people with known lactose intolerance or who suspect they are lactose intolerant, drinking A2 milk, which  only contains the A2 form of beta casein protein, may cause fewer digestive symptoms. 

I think this is something that individuals will need to try for themselves to see whether or not it makes a difference for them. And if it doesn’t, there are other options for people who have trouble with dairy, such as the lactase supplements and lactose free milk.

It’s important to note that at this time there no other known benefits to consuming only the A2 protein and no other known risks of consuming the A1 form.

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