Hi Nicole; I think meat substitutes are healthy so long as they do not include the standard ingredients that cause colon cancer (carrageenan, nitrates, nitrites), large amounts of refined carbohydrate (maltodextrin), sugars (high fructose corn sweetener, cane juice, sucrose, etc) or salt (sodium, MSG). I have this opinion not just for meat substitutes, but for any food product. Some companies will make meat substitute products that contain more unhealthy ingredients than others, so you have to read the label. I do not eat meat substitutes often enough to be familiar with the brands that are out there, but Amy's appears to be a company that cares about putting natural ingredients into their products. Any form of processing reduces nutrient quality, so these products will be a bit less healthy than tofu and tofu will be less healthy than the original soy bean, but so long as you choose minimally processed foods with minimal amounts of unhealthy added ingredients you will be fine. I did a literature search of the science on this topic and could not find anything useful to help us in answering your question, so I only offer you my personal opinion (above) at this time. Sincerely, Clyde
Hi Dr. Clyde, I have seen you talk a few time for the Cal Triathlon team and it's been great. I'm a vegetarian and I can't seem to eat 6oz of tofu all the time. What are your opinions on fake meat options as a protein source?