Although the recipes varied slightly, meatloaf was an invariable part of the dinner menu or a restaurant menu all over America. Till just a few decades earlier, meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and gravy was described as "the All-American meal." Today, the standard American diet (how correct the acronym "SAD" is!) is believed to be one of the world's worst diets as it contains more processed and refined food than fresh, natural, and whole food. Studies also indicate that Americans consume very high amount of sugar and sodium, and the diet doesn't provide essential elements like fiber, and minerals like potassium, in adequate amounts.
Meatloaf can, in fact, prove to be a tasty and satiating dish for fast-food lovers. It is easy to prepare, contains healthy ingredients, and can be served with mashed potatoes, side vegetables, and fruits. You can easily tweak the ingredients and spices according to their availability.
Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle can cut down calories from meatloaf by using lean pieces of meat. This way, they can lower the chances of being overweight. By adding more veggies and less meat, or by using potatoes, green peas, and different combinations of vegetables, etc., you can cut down significant amount of calories and increase the nutritional value. Vegetables can provide sufficient amounts of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals too.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 g of vegetarian meatloaf or patties contain 197 calories. Other nutrients are described in the following chart.
|Vegetarian Meatloaf, Serving Size: 100 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||9 g|
|Total Dietary Fiber||4.6 g|
|Total Sugars||1.20 g|
|Vitamin B6||1.2 mg|
|Vitamin B12||2.40 mg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||1.73 mg|
|Total Saturated Fatty Acids||1.425 g|
|Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids||2.188 g|
|Total Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids||4.666 g|
There is one more important point that should be taken into consideration and that is "conservation of nature and natural resources". Modern research shows that meat has a far greater impact on the environment than any other food we consume. Food, water, land, and energy required for livestock farming is way more than that required to grow and transport plants. It is good that attitudes towards meat are changing. More and more people are deliberately following vegetarian diets or eating less meat than before.