Plant-based meat company Impossible Foods’ Beef Lite has been given a heart-healthy certification from the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Food Certification Program.
Beef Lite -- a leaner version of the company’s product developed to have the taste and texture of ground beef, introduced earlier this year, which contains around half as much fat as regular plant-based beef–--earned the AHA checkmark following a review process from the voluntary organization, which employs scientific-based nutrition standards to easily designate to consumers foods which can be considered heart healthy.
Impossible Foods is not the first in the category to be granted the distinction. Beyond Meat’s recently launched Beyond Steak was designated with the checkmark, which Beyond Meat made a focal point in its recent marketing efforts.
The news is noteworthy in part not just for the health credentials and marketing opportunities it provides Impossible Foods but also for eliminating a distinction that Beyond Meat could point to as a differentiator -- although it can still boast of the only plant-based “steak” product to be certified by the AHA. The certification also has broader implications for the category at a time when it is combating consumer questions about how healthy and sustainable such plant-based meat alternatives are.
“Earning this certification from the American Heart Association is a really important milestone for both Impossible Foods and the rest of the plant-based meat category. Nutrition is a core priority for all of our products, but Beef Lite was designed specifically to appeal to consumers who are even more health-conscious,” Impossible Foods President and CEO Peter McGuinness said in a statement.
According to American Heart Association recommendations, diets that limit saturated fats and eliminate trans fats reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke and heart disease. Impossible Foods’ Beef Lite has a low saturated fat content -- 75% lower than 90/10 animal-based ground beef, according to the company, which also touts its lack of cholesterol and 0 grams of trans fat. These distinctions are presumably what earned Beef Lite the AHA certification.