How Healthy are Vegetarian Spreads?

Many are looking for plant-based alternatives to sausage and ham. But vegetarian or vegan spreads are not always as healthy as many believe. They often contain a lot of sugar and fat.

One reason for the trend toward plant-based alternatives: the World Health Organization (WHO) and leading cancer research institutes warn that processed meat such as sausage and ham can lead to colon cancer and is probably also involved in the development of other diseases.

Additives in vegetarian sausage

Vegetables are generally healthier than meat. But plant-based sausages are not always a healthy choice:

  • In order for vegetarian sausages to look, smell and taste like the original, they often contain large amounts of cheap fats or yeast extracts, which people with gout, for example, should avoid just as much as meat products.
  • As with meat processing, salts and flavor enhancers are also used here. However, vegetarian spreads usually contain significantly less salt than sausage.
  • Some vegetarian spreads are high in sugar.

Vegetable spreads: recognize good quality

The selection of vegetable-based spreads is growing all the time. But not all products contain enough vegetables to be healthy. As a rule of thumb, a vegetable content of more than 50 percent indicates a high-quality product. The lower the proportion of vegetables, the fewer vitamins, fiber, and minerals are contained. The higher vegetables on the list of ingredients, the more there is and the healthier the spread is.

Top bread with fresh vegetables

A small number of vegetables can be easily compensated for by covering the bread with raw vegetables: A few slices of cucumber, radishes or diced peppers provide the missing vitamins and fiber.

If you don’t necessarily want to eat completely plant-based, you can also use shrimp or salmon as a garnish – they add healthy proteins and omega-3 fatty acids to the bread.

Compare oil in spread

In most cases, sunflower oil ensures that the vegetables in the jar become spreadable. It is relatively cheap and contains significantly less valuable omega-3 fatty acids than other vegetable oils. Even if even the cheap sunflower oil is far healthier compared to the even cheaper pork fat, nutrition experts recommend high-quality spreads with olive oil or rapeseed oil.

Prepare vegetarian spread yourself

Meatless spread with few calories is easy to prepare at home. You keep track of the quality and quantity of the ingredients used – and you can spice it up just how you like it best.

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