Does Fake Meat Cause Heart Disease? Here’s What Science Really Says.

Recent headlines have condemned plant-based imitation meats—such as veggie sausages and textured vegetable proteins—as unhealthy, claiming that their consumption is linked to increased risk of heart disease and death. But a closer look at the research backing up these claims suggests a more nuanced story.

The real culprits are actually “plant-based” ultra-processed foods as a whole, and not meat substitutes specifically, according to the headline-making article. But there’s an important caveat: “Plant-based” foods include foods you might not expect — like chocolate-covered cookies, frozen pizzas and sodas. The study, published earlier this month in the Lancet Regional Health–Europe, link between plant-based, ultra-processed foods and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

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