New Study Finds Plant-Based Meats have Similar Effects on Inflammation as Animal Meats.


In the last few years, vegan and vegetarian diets have become extremely popular for their health benefits and the good of the planet. But do plant-based meats offer the same advantages as animal meats? Could they help reduce inflammation? Scientists and dietitians are beginning to look into the matter, and the findings are incredible. In this article, I’ll look into the facts of a new study behind plant-based meat and how it affects inflammation.

Plant-Based Meats have Similar Effects on Inflammation as Animal Meats - Last Guy On Earth Blog
Plant-Based Meats have Similar Effects on Inflammation as Animal Meats

Background on Plant-Based Meats

As people pay more attention to their health, we’re seeing a change in the food they prefer. People are more informed of the potential health risks of animal products high in fat and sugar, prompting them to find and opt for healthier choices, such as plant-based meats. Before jumping to any conclusions, it’s crucial to have an understanding of what plant-based foods actually are. They come from sources such as legumes, cereals, and veggies. Plant-based foods are known to be healthier than animal foods because they usually have lower levels of saturated fats and cholesterol, which can cause inflammation.

Results of the Study

A randomized controlled crossover trial(1) was conducted to compare the impacts of animal meat and plant-based imitation meat on inflammatory biomarkers. 36 people were asked to consume at least two servings of imitation or animal meat daily for 8 weeks. 

To make sure everyone abided by the rules, the participants were given the following food items: 

  • Plant-based imitation meat diet (burgers, beef crumbles, sausage, and chicken strips), which was mainly composed of water, protein isolate (usually pea and/or soy), oil (usually canola, sunflower, and/or coconut oil), vegetable fiber, starch, and various flavoring agents. 
  • The animal meat diet consisted of ground beef (80% lean, grass-fed), beef burger (grass-fed), pork sausage, bratwurst, and chicken breast – often with herbs and spices. The people were also permitted to season the ground beef with salt.

The research results suggested no significant distinctions between the two diets concerning any of the 92 measured inflammatory biomarkers, including the 6 used in the primary analysis. The consumption of nutrients was nearly identical in both groups, except that the imitation meat diet offered a lower intake of total fat, saturated fat, and calories and a higher fiber intake. Still, only the decrease in saturated fat was statistically remarkable. 

Discussion of the Results

Plant-based fake meats and animal meats had similar effects on 92 inflammation markers. This suggests that plant-based meats may be viable for those wanting to lower their meat intake without worrying about inflammation. It is worth bearing in mind that the plant-based imitation meats used in the research were heavily processed and were classed as ultra-processed food. Moreover, the study was funded by Beyond Meat, which manufactures plant-based imitation meats. Therefore, further research is necessary to ascertain the findings and to gauge the long-term health effects of consuming plant-based imitation meats. All in all, the study provides valuable insights into the impact of plant-based meats on inflammation.

Is plant-based meat healthier than meat?

The investigation revealed that plant-based imitation meats and animal meats had the same effect on 92 inflammation biomarkers. So, while the study suggests that plant-based meats may not be any worse for you in terms of inflammation, it’s still important to be mindful of how processed the foods you’re eating are. The plant-based imitation meats in this study were highly processed and met the definition of ultra-processed food. In addition, the study was funded by Beyond Meat, a company that produces plant-based imitation meats. 

It would be better to have a varied diet that focuses heavily on fruits, veggies, and grains than to eat a lot of meat. This is more important than settling for highly processed plant-based imitation meats. Despite these findings, more research is necessary to truly understand the health effects of these products.


Crimarco A, Landry MJ, Carter MM, Gardner CD. Assessing the effects of alternative plant-based meats v. animal meats on biomarkers of inflammation: a secondary analysis of the SWAP-MEAT randomized crossover trial. J Nutr Sci. 2022 Sep 23;11:e82. doi: 10.1017/jns.2022.84. PMID: 36304815; PMCID: PMC9554424.

Bruno Tavares
Bruno Tavares
My goal is to provide my readers with valuable information and insights that they can use to make the most of their lives.


  1. Thanks for this post. I always look first at who funded the study…in this case Beyond Meat. Appreciate the transparency and all the information. Sounds like less processed is definitely the way to go.

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