Seitan is a protein source that has been growing in popularity in recent years. Seitan, like tempeh and soy, is considered a protein alternative for individuals looking to limit their consumption of animal meats. Others, like vegans and vegetarians, abstain from eating animal flesh altogether and therefore get their proteins exclusively from plant-based foods. Examples of plant-based protein-rich foods are mushrooms, soy, nutritional yeast, nuts, edamame, lentils, quinoa, certain seeds – and of course seitan.
Seitan Vs Chicken, Beef, Poultry Meats
The primary benefit of most plant proteins, including seitan, is that they have not been strongly correlated with increased cancer risks, as is the case for red and processed meats. According to the American Heart Association, animal proteins like beef, lamb, pork, beef-fat, and poultry contain saturated fats which can raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
The trade-off of animal proteins is that when they’re consumed routinely, they raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Cholesterol and triglycerides are different types of lipids found circulating in human blood. While respectively essential, high levels of either appear to be associated with cardiovascular disease.
Seitan proteins, on the other hand, are gotten from wheat plants, and therefore do not contain any animal meats.
Seitan is made from water and gluten. Gluten is a group of seed storage proteins found in wheat. In plants, storage proteins are used by plants to develop and grow. In people, storage proteins provide amino acids, the complex molecular structures which combine to make protein. Seitan is also low in carbohydrates and fat, which means that it would be conducive to dieters looking to lose or manage body fat.