Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine weighs in on this topic in the January/February 2012 issue of Vegetarian Times:
"Analogues made from soy, wheat, or pea protein are much better than the foods they replace. Meats contribute cholesterol and animal fat, along with traces of carcinogens that form during cooking. Also, hot dogs and other processed meat products are linked to colorectal cancer.
Even so, analogues tend to be heavily processed, which often means removing fiber and some nutrients, concentrating protein, and adding salt, flavorings, and other things we do not need. So, think of veggie dogs and other analogues as a bridge leading us from the meaty diets we grew up with toward beans, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits, which are the most healthful foods of all."
When I first went veg, fake meats were a godsend. Now I make my own fake meats from whole foods...though I occasionally I still buy soy sausage to make Happy Herbivore Breakfast Sausage Patties. Dr. Barnard's note reminded me that I should really cut the cord and make my own sausage. Any good recipe suggestions?