Is Seitan Good For You?

Seitan is a gluten that can be used in various dishes. Check out its health benefits here.


Seitan is popular for its similarities with bread or flour. When cooked, it might look the same as meat, which is why it is usually used as a substitute. Considering this, a lot of people prefer seitan as wheat gluten, wheat protein, or wheat meat.

But what is seitan and is this good for you? Find out here.

All About Seitan

Seitan is made from water and wheat gluten. It is a low carb, high protein alternative to animal protein. With this, vegans and vegetarians depend on it for nutrients. In fact, one ounce of seitan is already equivalent to 21 grams of protein.

Another important element found in seitan is that it is low in carbohydrates and fat. Just remember that it is rich in gluten so you need to avoid this if you are planning to have a gluten-free diet.

In addition, it is made from wheat flour with water. To make it, you just need to knead these ingredients to make sticky strands of gluten. Once the dough is made, simply rinse it to remove starch.

Then, you will see a sticky gluten protein that can be cooked, used, and seasons in various dishes. It is important to note that seitan can be bought pre-made in various grocery stores if you do not want to make one on your own. Oftentimes, you will find this in vegetarian restaurants.

These usually come as meat substitutes on sandwiches, succulent wings, or even a topping for pizza.

Although seitan is known for its gluten properties, it also has a lot of nutritional compounds including the following:

  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Protein
  • Calories

The reason it is low in carbs is that starch from it is washed away during its production. So do not be surprised that one serving only has 4 grams of carbohydrates. In terms of fat, seitan only has 0.5 grams.

Just take note that if you wish to buy the seitan from the grocery store, it will have added ingredients for better texture and flavor. So if you are after natural seitan, then it is best that you make one yourself.

How to Cook Seitan

With the various nutrients found in seitan, it is no longer a surprise that you would want to buy it as well. So here are easy ways you can cook it.

The best way to use it is in a vegan or vegetarian meal. What you can do is pan-fry tamari, nama shoyu, or soy sauce with seitan. If you want, you can simmer it with curry powder with yeast on top.

Another way would be grilled, can be indoor or outdoor, the choice is yours. You can simply heat it up with the addition of your preferred barbecue sauce. Once you are done, you can make a sandwich with seitan.

The third way is through tossing seitan in the pan. Make sure that it is lightly brown then add vegetables. You can then transform it into curry, soup, or stew. You have the option to experiment if you want to. After all, seitan is rich in nutrients that you can benefit from.

If you cannot think of a good way to cook it, here are some useful ideas:

  • Steamed to give a light flavor
  • Broth
  • Threaded
  • Baked
  • Slimmed into stews
  • Deep fried
  • Slathered with barbecue sauce
  • Sliced for stir-fries
  • Ground beef substitute
  • Marinated

Since the texture of seitan is toothsome and dense, others use it as a substitute for tempeh or tofu.

Health Benefits of Seitan

Other than being rich in nutritional value, there are a lot of health benefits that you can get from seitan. It is even advisable for vegans who have soy allergies.

Surprisingly, tons of vegan protein options are made of soy. If you are not aware of these protein options, we are referring to packaged meat substitutes, tofu, and tempeh. Considering these, vegans with soy allergies have a hard time looking for food to eat.

Lucky for them, seitan is made from wheat, which makes it a great substitute for soy. If the vegan wants more flavor to seitan, they can simply add soy sauce or their preferred sauce.

Negative Side of Seitan

Just like any other food, seitan has its own set of negative effects in your body. Since seitan is not planted and instead made, it can be considered highly processed food. The good news behind this is that although it is processed, it does not give you loads of fat, sugar, or calories so you will not end up obese. With this, it is still safe to say that you can add seitan to your diet.

However, if you already have a high level of processed food intake, then seitan might not be a good option for you right now. Also, if you have gluten and wheat allergies, then you should avoid eating seitan. Ignoring this warning might give you intense allergic reactions.

Lastly, seitan can actually be bad for your gut. Since seitan is made of gluten, it can actually increase intestinal permeability which can lead to autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and food sensitivities.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, seitan is gluten that is best done than bought from grocery stores. Even better, making it is easy and fun, especially when you already have the right ingredients. You can add this to various meals like stews, broth, and even soup. The advantages do not stop there as seitan contains a lot of nutritional compounds that are good for your body.

However, there are also precautions that you need to remember if you are planning to add this to your diet. It is highly processed, may not be advisable for those who have gluten allergies, and can have a negative effect on your gut.

Other than those, you will not have any doubts in trying out gluten. You can even make unique recipes with this ingredient. So if you want to experiment with new recipes with an ingredient that has low fats and carbs, then seitan is the one for you.

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