Meat Reduction and Plant-Based Food: Replacement of Meat: Nutritional, Health, and Social Aspects

Madalina Neacsu*, D. McBey, A. M. Johnstone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

44 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable diets have low environmental impacts; contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations; are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems; culturally acceptable; accessible; economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources. Globally, 795 million people suffer from hunger, 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Incongruously, at the very same time, over 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight of which 600 million are obese. It is clear that dietary patterns worldwide must change if we are to achieve a sustainable diet. The "Double Food-Environmental Pyramid" shows that human health and environmental protection can fit into one single food model. In the United Kingdom, it has been suggested that with a healthy balanced diet, an environmentally friendly diet could also be accomplished; involving an reduction of meat and processed meat, and an increase in plant-based foods. The consumption of high levels of animal protein and red meat could be detrimental to gut health and associated with increased cardiovascular diseases and cancer mortality in the long term. High-protein plants are ideal to supplement meat-based products in the human diet and will justify the transition towards plant-based protein supplementations. In this context this chapter reviews nutritional, health, and wellbeing aspects of consumption of plant-based foods including aspects of systemic and gut health, satiety, and weight management. The chapter also provides commentaries on the social implications on meat replacement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Protein Sources
EditorsSudarshan R. Nadathur , Janitha P. D. Wanasundara, Laurie Scanlin
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780128027769
ISBN (Print)9780128027783
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Dietary change
  • Food choice
  • Meat reduction
  • Plant-based foods
  • Plant-based protein
  • Sustainable diet


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