The Science Of Plant-Based Meat vs Grass-Fed Meat

Episode 675 1h 10m


If you’ve ever wondered if plant-based meat alternatives are nutritionally equal to real, pasture-raised meats, or if they are truly better for issues like inflammation and cardiovascular health, this is the episode for you.

Meat has become such a monolithic topic when, in fact, it’s extremely complex and nuanced. We can’t just say all meat is good or no meat is good, it’s a matter of what types and sources of proteins you’re eating and what the rest of your diet looks like, too.

I’m excited to dive into all those complexities today with Dr. Stephan van Vliet, who is a nutrition scientist with metabolomics expertise in the Center for Human Nutrition Studies at Utah State University.

We dive into the episode discussing the rise of meat replacements and whether they’re really any better than real meat. It’s become a controversial topic relating to both health and the environment, and Dr. van Vliet sheds some light on what we need to consider if we’re truly comparing them apples to apples.

And while we’ve seen that grass-fed meats offer greater nutritional value than most types of feedlot meats, it’s not always the case depending on the practices used.

We also talk about how the diet of livestock affects the flavor and phytochemical composition of
their meat and milk. One of the really interesting things about grazing animals is that they’re able to eat certain plants that we as humans cannot tolerate, passing some amazing phytonutrients onto us. We’re really just scratching the surface of phytochemicals—there are tens of thousands of them. How do they impact human health, and if we’re missing them from our diet what benefits are we missing out on? These are some larger questions that Dr. van Vliet’s work is helping us start to answer.


This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, Cozy Earth, BON CHARGE, and MitoPure. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Plant-based meat vs grass-fed meat


  • How the diet of livestock affects the flavor and phytochemical composition of their meat and milk


  • Why the overall composition of your diet matters


  • Research looking at grass-fed vs grain-fed bison


  • How humans can get unique plant compounds through animal consumption


  • Why not all feed-lot feed is equal


  • Why cardiac risk from meat consumption may vary depending on the type of meat


  • The metabolic health of pasture-raised bison vs feed-lot bison


  • Assessing the health of lab-grown meat


  • Honoring the wisdom of farmers and indigenous people


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Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Coming up on this episode of The Doctor's Farmacy.

Dr. Stephan van Vliet:
Plant-based meal alternatives can be part of a healthy diet, I think. I also think meat can be part of a healthy diet, but the background diet in which you consume these foods are ultimately going to be the main dictator, and I think that's so important to remember when we have these discussions about single foods that make up just a small portion of our diet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. That's Farmacy with an F, a place for conversations that matter, and today, if you're confused about whether to eat meat or not and what meat is good and what meat..

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Ep. 675 - The Science Of Plant-Based Meat vs Grass-Fed Meat