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Animal Protein

The Original: Beef, Pork and Lamb

High-protein diets are a popular way to lose weight and build muscle. But the eating patterns of hard-core carnivores have also been associated with certain cancers, and people with at least one risk factor for heart disease who consume more red meat have higher mortality rates.

The Replacement: Soy Protein Isolate

Soybeans and tofu are quality proteins and good sources of fiber, minerals, and complex carbs. But to make soy protein isolate powder—found in many meatless “meat” products like veggie burgers and hot dogs—the beans need to be chemically processed, which strips them of many nutrients and in some cases may leave behind substances like aluminum and hexane.

The New Fix: Jackfruit

Before it ripens, the spiky fruit has a meaty taste and a texture that takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with. Because of its unwieldy size and sticky sap, it’s hard to handle. But brands like the Jackfruit Company and Upton’s Naturals sell it as a prepared meat substitute you can use in curries and carnitas. Unprocessed jackfruit contains between one and six grams of fiber per serving. Worth a taste!