Hard to believe, but in one recent year, Americans ordered 2.3 billion restaurant servings of chicken nuggets. So, when meatless nuggets were launched onto menus and put in grocery stores, it caused quite a commotion.
What are these concoctions made of? Impossible Chicken Nuggets contain 28 ingredients -- never a good sign when a "food" is engineered with that much stuff. The top 15 include: water, soy protein concentrate, wheat flour, sunflower oil, soybean oil, cornstarch and 2% or less of: methylcellulose, salt, natural flavors, wheat starch, cultured dextrose, dried onion, dried garlic, dextrose and food starch modified. Yum?
A serving of four nuggets is cholesterol-free (McNuggets have 25 grams), but they also have 8 more grams of carbs and a few more calories than the drive-thru favorite and have the same amount of fat (including saturated fat), and almost the same amount of sodium.
So here's a nugget of nutritional advice: Don't think of meatless chicken nuggets -- or meatless burgers -- as the last stop on your journey to healthier eating. They are clearly not health-promoting, and we suggest you think of them as a temporary step on your journey to better health -- perhaps a way of getting used to the idea of eating a plant-based diet. If you don't embrace a vegetarian or vegan diet and go truly meat-free, your plant-based diet will include natural, skinless poultry (not fried or breaded), salmon and other fatty fish, and five-plus servings a day of fruits and vegetables. That's not so impossible, is it?
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.
(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D.
and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
King Features Syndicate