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Browsing by Author "Mustakallio, Meri"

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  • Mustakallio, Meri (2022)
    Background: Replacing animal protein with plant-based protein has health and environmental benefits, but new plant protein-based products have shown a high salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) content. Objectives: 1) To investigate the effects of replacing animal protein sources with plant-based protein sources on sodium (Na) intake in a 12-week ScenoProt intervention. 2) To gather information on NaCl contents of plant-based protein and meat alternative products available in Finland and to compare them with equivalent meat products. Methods: 1) 136 participants were randomized into different protein diets (G1: animal 70%/plant 30%; G2: animal 50%/plant 50%; G3: animal 30%/plant 70%). Na intake was measured with 4-day food records and 24h urine excretion using analysis of (co)variance. 2) An audit for plant protein and meat products was done. NaCl content in product categories was compared using t-tests and non-parametric tests. Results: 1) Na intake was highest in G1 (3.7±0.9 g/d), while the intakes in G2 and G3 were 3.1±0.9 and 3.1±0.6 g/d (p<0.001). Urinary Na was highest in G1 vs. G2 and G3 (p≤0.018; adjusted for baseline). Plant-based foods accounted for 28,5 % of sodium intake in G3. 2) Of 347 plant-based products, 89 % were salted/seasoned and mean NaCl content was 1.29±0.63 g/100 g. Plant-based mince and chicken strips were higher in salt than their meat equivalents (1.22±0.49 vs. 0.24±0.35 and 1.61±0.33 vs.1.16 ±0.63 g/100 g, p≤0.017), whereas meat sausages and meat salamis had higher salt content than the plant alternatives (1.94±0.23 vs. 1.64±0.33 and 4.04±0.39 vs. 2.12±0.60 g/100 g, p<0.001). Conclusion: Na intake and urinary excretion were lower when 50-70% of dietary proteins were from plant-based sources compared to a diet containing 70% animal-based proteins. However, plant-based dishes were a significant source of sodium in the plant-based diets and some plant-based products have high NaCl contents, which may question their healthiness, especially if consumed frequently.