While any ol' protein bar offers convenience, not all bars are created equal in terms of overall nutritional value and, certainly, overall level of sustainability and eco-friendly production. So, which are the best vegan protein bars on the market?
7. 22 Days Nutrition Organic Protein Bar<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk2OTA5NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTIxMjEyOH0.WKYat8DC5GE62XavwI65M9BFEhi4CvrLuHOgSdrgzJc/img.jpg?width=980" id="a3aa8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fdc3a56de899bf3eb6d4e3f1b6849319" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="870" data-height="988" /><p>If it's flavor you're after, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/22-Days-Nutrition-Organic-Protein/dp/B07142PGWS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=nutrition-vegan-protein-bars-20&linkId=bed095526ed3058842fd024d8f8e1a18" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">22 Days lineup</a> has a lot of enticing options: Peanut butter chocolate chip, salted caramel, fudge brownie, you name it. This is one of our top options for sweet tooths, but we'll also note how much we appreciate the balanced nutritional contents. There's even a high iron quotient here, which is something many <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/vegan-diet-health-benefits-2608604362.html" target="_blank">vegan diets</a> tend to lack.</p>
Start Snacking on a Vegan Protein Bar<p>As you consider your options for different vegan protein bars, there are a lot of factors to consider, including flavor, total fiber content, and more. One thing you can feel confident about is that each of the bars we've recommended here is fully compliant with a vegan diet. And all are made with admirably earth-friendly practices.</p><p>These are bars you can feel good about any time you need to reach for that fast <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/egg-free-vegan-breakfast-recipes-2544537485.html" target="_blank">vegan breakfast</a> or that afternoon pick-me-up. Try one of the best vegan protein bars today and see which ones you like the most.</p>
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Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.
Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.
Charlotte's Web<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDcwMjk3NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzQ0NjM4N30.SaQ85SK10-MWjN3PwHo2RqpiUBdjhD0IRnHKTqKaU7Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="84700" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a2174067dcc0c4094be25b3472ce08c8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="charlottes web cbd oil" data-width="1244" data-height="1244" /><p>Perhaps one of the most well-known brands in the CBD landscape, Charlotte's Web has been growing sustainable hemp plants for several years. The company is currently in the process of achieving official USDA Organic Certification, but it already practices organic and sustainable cultivation techniques to enhance the overall health of the soil and the hemp plants themselves, which creates some of the highest quality CBD extracts. Charlotte's Web offers CBD oils in a range of different concentration options, and some even come in a few flavor options such as chocolate mint, orange blossom, and lemon twist.</p>
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By Emily Payne
The World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that diet-related diseases like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension lead to an increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection. As the pandemic wears on, eaters are preparing more food at home and focusing on healthier meals. Cooking and recipe website traffic surged at the start of quarantine, as did curiosity for meat alternatives.
1. Plant-Based Foods Cannot Provide Enough Protein<p>The <a href="https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/chapter-2/current-eating-patterns-in-the-united-states/" target="_blank">U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports</a> that about three-fourths of Americans are eating diets low in fruits and vegetables, while more than half are meeting or exceeding protein recommendations. Meat is often touted as an eater's most important source of protein, but protein is found in all foods—even whole-grain pasta, oats, or vegetables. Beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds are just a few protein-packed plants. One cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein, for example, compared to 22 grams in one serving of beef. By focusing on a diversity of whole foods, plant-forward eaters can consume more than enough protein each day.</p>
2. Plant-Based Meat Alternatives Are Flavorless (and Have No Texture)<p>Tofu has long been a meat-alternative staple, but plant-based eating has much more to offer. Seitan, often called "wheat meat," is made by filtering the starch from wheat to create high-protein gluten with a similar texture to chicken. Tempeh is made by fermenting soy and can be marinated, fried, steamed, or eaten raw. It has a subtly nutty flavor, and companies like <a href="https://lightlife.com/our-food/?active_filter=tempeh" target="_blank">Lightlife</a>, the largest U.S. tempeh manufacturer, also offer flavors like three-grain, flax seed, smoky, and buffalo tempeh. Countless combinations of beans, chickpeas, lentils, herbs, spices, and grains can be made into flavorful plant-based burgers, meatballs, ground meat, and even bacon.</p>
3. Plant-Based Ingredient and Restaurant Options Are Limited<p>From restaurants to the grocery aisle, chefs and companies are responding to consumers' demand for plant-based options. In March 2020, The Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association <a href="https://www.gfi.org/blog-spins-data-release-2020#:~:text=Plant%2DBased%20Food%20Retail%20Sales,Billion%20%2D%20The%20Good%20Food%20Institute&text=2019%20marked%20another%20impressive%20year,total%20U.S.%20retail%20food%20sales." target="_blank">calculated</a> that total plant-based retail sales reached US$5 billion in 2019, growing 11 percent over the previous year, a rate almost five times faster than total U.S. retail food sales. And <a href="https://restaurant.opentable.com/news/features/year-in-review/firmly-rooted-support-for-plant-based-dishes-on-the-rise/" target="_blank">OpenTable reported</a> that in 2019, plant-based reviews on its platform increased by 136 percent compared to 2017. From sliced bologna to ground Mexican beef, there's a plant-based option for virtually any meat craving.</p>
4. A Plant-Based Meal Won’t Be as Filling<p><strong></strong>Processed foods are high in refined starches and sugar that are easier to digest, meaning they're less filling. Whole foods are naturally high in dietary fiber that breaks down slowly, keeping the body feeling full longer. With both fiber and protein, some plant-based proteins can even be more filling than animal meat options. Incorporating healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and coconuts also lends to a more filling dish. As long as there are plenty of whole foods, a plant-forward diet can fuel sustained energy throughout the day—and with fewer cravings.</p>
5. Eating a Plant-Forward Diet Is Too Expensive<p>By focusing on minimally processed foods, shopping seasonally at farmers' markets when possible, and buying staples like nuts, beans, and legumes in bulk, many eaters save money by moving to a plant-forward diet. The rise in consumer demand for plant-based products also means more companies are joining the market and supermarkets are introducing their own private labels. With a more established supply chain, plant-based meat, cheese, yogurt, and egg alternatives can become more accessible to all budgets.</p>
6. It’s Difficult to Eat Complete Proteins on a Plant-Forward Diet<p>The idea that plant-based proteins must be combined in the same meal to provide a complete protein is a long-standing myth. The <a href="http://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice%20papers/position%20papers/vegetarian-diet.ashx" target="_blank">Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics</a> says that "the terms complete and incomplete are misleading in relation to plant protein. Protein from a variety of plant foods, eaten during the course of a day, supplies enough of all indispensable (essential) amino acids when caloric requirements are met." Even if consumed at different meals and times, the body will combine the essential amino acids it needs on its own.</p>
7. Plant-forward Diets Are Nutrient-Deficient<p>Plants are some of the most nutrient-dense food options available. Dark leafy greens and legumes, for example, are rich with calcium. Beans and lentils are high in protein and fiber, low in fats, and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Many plant-forward eaters cook with nutritional yeast, which contains B12, a nutrient primarily found in animal products. Focusing as much as possible on a variety of whole foods will supply more than enough nutrients. A good trick is to eat the rainbow: colorful foods contain many essential vitamins and antioxidants, and different colors ensure a variety of ingredients (and flavor!).</p>
8. Meat Alternatives Are Ultra-Processed and Unsustainable<p>As plant-forward eating becomes more popular, meat alternatives are appearing everywhere from baseball stadiums to fast-food chains. But many products labeled "plant-based" actually undergo the same amount of processing as typical junk foods, just without the use of animal products. With added processing comes a larger environmental footprint, as well. The best way to choose alternative meat is to check the ingredient label, opting for those with short ingredient lists of recognizable names. The <a href="https://lightlife.com/product/plant-based-burger/" target="_blank">Lightlife Plant-Based Burger</a>, for example, is made from only 11 ingredients with nothing synthetically processed, and the company has committed to <u>reducing its environmental footprint</u> by 50 percent by 2025.</p>
9. Children Shouldn’t Eat a Plant-Forward Diet<p>An article <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356233/" target="_blank">published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)</a> notes that plant-forward diets can meet the nutritional needs of not only children but pregnant mothers, breast-feeding mothers, and infants. And educators agree; Los Angeles public schools adopted meatless Mondays in their cafeterias in 2013, and New York City, the largest public-school system in the U.S., began meatless Mondays in 2019. As plant-forward eating gains popularity, more plant-based alternatives children's favorite classics like hotdogs and chicken nuggets are reaching grocery shelves.</p>
10. Plant-Based Products Are Always Healthier<p>Not all plant-based products are created equal. While french fries are derived from plants, they are also high in oil and salt. The plant-based Impossible Whopper may have fewer calories than the original Whopper, but it contains significantly more sodium. A frequent culprit of this is the veggie burger, deemed a health food but often full of sugars and unrecognizable ingredients. The key to a healthy and nutritious diet is minimally processed whole foods. Look out for plant-based products with a small ingredient list (which often translates to a more environmentally sustainable choice, as well).</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://foodtank.com/news/2020/11/ten-myths-about-plant-forward-eating/" target="_blank">Food Tank</a>. </em></p>
McDonald's' ended a highly-publicized six-month trial of a meatless Beyond Meat burger April 6 without announcing any plans to continue or expand the partnership, CBC News reported Thursday. Instead, it simply removed the burger's information from its website.
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By Jeannette Cwienk
After the coronavirus spread through a number of slaughterhouses in Germany and the United States, some people might be asking themselves how they can replace meat in their diets.
1. Soy Products: Schnitzel, Tofu, Tempeh<p>The typical meat substitute in supermarkets in Europe, North America and Australia comes from soy. From burgers and goulash to sliced meat, sausages and cold cuts — a variety of products are seasoned and shaped to resemble animal products. In its native Asia, soy is mostly consumed as the fresh bean, edamame, or as tofu and tempeh.</p><p>The protein content of dried soybeans is significant — about 35-40%. On top of that, the bean contains several essential amino acids that the body needs to absorb protein. But it's also important to point out that the beans' protein content drops to about 12% after cooking. Tofu contains 7-15 grams, while tempeh and soy strips contain 18-20%.</p><p>Besides protein, soybeans also contain many unsaturated fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. By comparison, 100 grams of raw pork has about 18% protein, according to the GU nutrition table.</p><p>Given that 80% of the world's soybean cultivation <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/soy" target="_blank">comes from the United States, Argentina and Brazil</a>, the bean usually travels some distance before it's consumed. But the argument that the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/protecting-paraguays-forests-from-cows-and-soy-farms/a-16700031" target="_blank">rainforest is being cut down for tofu makes little sense</a>, because 80% of the world's soy production is actually used as animal feed. </p><p><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/eu-reaps-healthy-yield-from-us-china-soybean-spat/a-44923688" target="_blank">Farmers in Europe are now also growing soy</a>, although the conditions aren't ideal — the beans come from the subtropics, and so need a warm, humid environment to thrive. Soybeans require less water than meat production, but don't score as well on that front compared to some other legumes. </p>
2. Lupins<p><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/6-of-the-most-sustainable-meat-alternatives/a-53425695?maca=en-VAM_volltext_ecowatch-28485-html-copypaste" target="_blank">Meat alternatives made from sweet lupins</a> are becoming more popular in Germany, with shredded lupin or lupin steak no longer a rarity on supermarket shelves. Lupins are most commonly used, however, as a substitute for milk, yogurt or eggs. They're also used in gluten-free baking products because they contain no gluten.</p><p>Lupins have an impressively high amount of protein: the plant's dried beans contain at least 40%, as well as various vitamins and minerals. Unlike soybeans, lupins can cope with a dry climate and grow well in lime and sandy soils. That means conditions in Europe are better suited to lupins than soybeans.</p>
3. Beans and Beyond<p><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/can-pulses-conquer-palates-and-save-the-planet/a-19277439" target="_blank">Beans, lentils and peas also have protein in spades</a>. In their dry form, green peas contain around 23%, but that amount shrinks to 8% during cooking. Most types of beans contain 8-10% protein after cooking — more than half that of pork. These legumes aren't available as sausages or cutlets — at least not yet anyway. Still, a bean-based chili sin carne promises a decent amount of protein, as does a spread made from brown lentils instead of Leberwurst, or liver pate. Add green spelt grain, spelt or oat-flakes (17% protein) to this spread, and it becomes even healthier, as well as tasty. That's because these cereals, nuts and seeds are ideal for the absorption of protein.</p><p>All legumes, including soybeans and lupins, have a positive effect on the soil they grow in. They hardly need any fertilizer, since they draw nitrogen from the air with the help of nodule bacteria. They also enrich the earth with humus.</p>
4. Seitan – Wheat Protein<p>This meat substitute consists of wheat gluten. Its slightly fibrous texture means it is mainly used for ready-made meat alternatives. It's produced by mixing flour and water into a dough, followed by repeated rinsing to remove starch until only the protein mass remains. </p><p>As with tofu, a large amount of the vitamins and minerals are lost during this process. And then there are the many flavorings and thickeners that often get added. One advantage Seitan has over soy, though, is that the wheat or spelt it comes from can be grown in many parts of the world.</p>
5. Sunflower Seeds<p>This type of "ground meat" comes from the remnants of sunflower seeds after they've been pressed to extract oil. It contains large amounts of protein, all the essential amino acids and many B vitamins.</p><p>All nuts and seeds generally have a very high protein content. Hemp seeds top the list with more than 31%, closely followed by pumpkin seeds, peanuts (26%), almonds (21%) and sunflower seeds (19%). Nuts and seeds also contain valuable unsaturated fatty acids. This also makes them a good source of energy, in their unpressed form.</p>
6. Quorn<p>This meat substitute, known as Quorn, is made from fermented mold fungus, with added vitamins and egg protein. </p><p>Vegetarians can enjoy it fried, for example, but for vegans this highly processed product isn't an option. Still, its climate footprint is likely smaller than that of a steak, if only because the production of eggs doesn't consume as many resources as that of meat. </p>
The B12 Problem<p>Despite all the advantages that come with plant-based meat substitutes, one essential nutrient is missing: vitamin B12. Only animal products can provide sufficient bioavailable levels of it. The <a href="https://www.dge.de/en/" target="_blank">German Nutrition Society</a> recommends an intake of 3 micrograms per day. That's the equivalent of about 100 grams of beef or salmon, 150 grams of cheese, or half a liter of whole milk. That means those who don't eat animal products have to resort to food supplements to get their daily B12 dose.</p>
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Oat milk is quickly becoming one of the more popular plant-based milks for everything from breakfast cereal to baking.
Many Brands Are Contaminated With Gluten<p>Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.</p><p>While it's safe for most people to eat, it inflames and damages the lining of the small intestine in people with <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/celiac-disease-symptoms" target="_blank">celiac disease</a> and possibly those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Thus, anyone with these conditions must strictly avoid gluten.<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28810029" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Oats are <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gluten-in-oats" target="_blank">naturally gluten-free</a>. However, because they're often grown near wheat and processed in facilities that also handle wheat products, they're frequently cross-contaminated with gluten.</p><p>Thus, oat milk is likewise susceptible to contamination.</p><p>A Canadian study in 133 oat samples discovered that 88% were contaminated with more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten — the general cutoff for a food to be considered gluten-free.</p><p>That said, one of the varieties was certified gluten-free and tested negative for gluten.<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3118497/" target="_blank"></a></p><p>When researchers in the United States assessed 78 foods labeled gluten-free, 20.5% had gluten levels over 20 ppm.</p><p>Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't analyze foods for gluten content. Instead, it's up to manufacturers to test the products themselves.</p><p>Some manufacturers use third-party testing labs to ensure that their products are under the threshold for gluten. These have a certification — usually shown as a small stamp on the packaging — that ensures the product is indeed gluten-free.</p><p>If you can't consume gluten, you should only buy oat milk that's certified gluten-free.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Although naturally gluten-free, oats are frequently cross-contaminated with gluten. Therefore, there's a good chance that your oat milk isn't gluten-free unless it's certified as such.</p>
Gluten-Free Oat Milk Options<p>If you don't have a health reason that requires you to avoid gluten, any kind of oat milk is safe to drink.</p><p>However, if you follow a gluten-free diet, you should <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-read-food-labels" target="_blank">read labels carefully</a> to find products that are certified gluten-free.</p><p>Oatly is one oat milk brand whose U.S. products are certified gluten-free. Planet Oat, Califia Farms, and Elmhurst all state that their oat milk is gluten-free but don't have third-party certification.</p><p><strong>Homemade Version</strong></p><p>Gluten-free oat milk is also easy to make yourself, using only two ingredients — certified gluten-free oats and water. Here's a basic recipe:</p><ol><li>Soak 1 cup (80 grams) of certified gluten-free oats in water — enough to cover them — for about 15 minutes.</li><li>Drain the oats and blend with up to 4 cups (945 mL) of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water" target="_blank">water</a> for about 30 seconds. Use less water if you prefer a thicker beverage.</li><li>Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.</li><li>Chill before serving.</li></ol><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Several brands offer gluten-free oat milk. Nonetheless, if you can't find certified products, you can make your own oat milk with certified gluten-free oats and water.</p>
How is Oat Milk Made?<p>Oat milk is made by soaking whole oats in water, milling the softened mixture, and straining the liquid from the solids. The manufacturer may add other ingredients like sweeteners or vitamins before the drink is homogenized to make it creamy and milk-like.<span></span></p><p>Oats are a particularly good source of beta glucan, a soluble fiber that gives oat milk its thick consistency and may boost heart health by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. Notably, studies suggest that oat beverages have this same effect.</p><p>A 1-cup (240-mL) serving of oat milk provides:</p><ul><li><strong>Calories:</strong> 120</li><li><strong>Protein: </strong>3 grams</li><li><strong>Fat: </strong>5 grams</li><li><strong>Carbs:</strong> 16 grams</li><li><strong>Fiber:</strong> 2 grams</li></ul><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Oat milk is made by soaking and milling oats, then separating the liquid. Oat milk's creamy texture is owed to its beta glucan, a healthy type of soluble fiber.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>While oats are a gluten-free grain, many are cross-contaminated with gluten — meaning that not all oat milks are gluten-free.</p><p>If you have celiac disease or <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gluten-sensitivity-is-real" target="_blank">gluten sensitivity</a>, you should only buy oat milk that's certified gluten-free by a third-party organization.</p><p>Otherwise, you can make this thick, creamy <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-milk-substitutes" target="_blank">plant-based milk</a> at home using certified gluten-free oats and water.</p>
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While meat processing facilities shut down and cause shortages in the beef and pork supply chains, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are seeing a spike in sales during the coronavirus pandemic, as The Hill reports.
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Slashing U.S. Meat Consumption by Half Could Cut Diet-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 35%, Study Finds
By Andrea Germanos
A new study highlights how addressing U.S. diets could help tackle the climate crisis, finding that if Americans cut their consumption of animal-based foods by half, it could prevent 1.6 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
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Now might be a good time to go vegetarian.
As meat-processing plants close across the country to stop the new coronavirus from spreading among employees, industry leaders and experts are warning of meat shortages in the nation's grocery stores.
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By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.
Listen here:<iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/13569779/height/45/theme/standard/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/" height="45" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>
By Shireen Kassam
Many of the important benefits of a plant-based diet – particularly for climate health and animals – are well known. Yet despite the science being very clear, there remains confusion about the impact on human health.
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Most Americans Don't Consider Environmental Impacts of Food Choices, but Are Willing to Eat More Plants, Study Finds
Recent books like We Are the Weather advocate for considering how our dietary choices affect the climate crisis, but new research shows that most Americans are not discussing the environmental impacts of their diets with friend and family, as Inverse reported.