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Healthy eating

Whole Foods CEO says plant-based 'meat' is unhealthy

It may be good for the environment, he told CNBC, but maybe not for our bodies.


Plant-based "meats" from companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have been getting plenty of attention lately -- from both fans and critics. 

Impossible Foods

Despite all the hype, Whole Foods' CEO reportedly isn't a fan of plant-based "meat." While it may be good for the environment, John Mackey told CNBC last week, it's not great for your health.

"If you look at the ingredients, they are super highly processed foods," Mackey, who is vegan, reportedly said. "I don't think eating highly processed foods is healthy. I think people thrive on eating whole foods."

Beyond Meat, a plant-based meat startup, began selling its vegan chicken strips at Whole Foods in 2013. The startup went on to develop plant-based beef, and competitor Impossible Foods also created a burger that tastes like beef. The Impossible Burger is available at restaurants such as Burger King, White Castle and Red Robin.

The plant-based meat craze is quickly growing. This week, Beyond Meat and Kentucky Fried Chicken said they're teaming up to test plant-based chicken. A KFC restaurant in Atlanta was the first to offer Beyond Fried Chicken as nuggets and boneless wings. 

Many people have pointed out that plant-based meat, which is processed and contains fair amounts of sodium and saturated fat, isn't as healthy as some may think. In addition, Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger have calorie counts similar to that of ground beef. Still, some nutritionists have said the burgers aren't necessarily bad for you, despite being processed. 

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