One of the newest trends hitting restaurants right now is the “beyond meat burger”. Most fast food restaurants and some large grocery stores have their own brand when it comes to the “beyond meat” trend (even Martha Stewart is promoting Subway’s new Beyond Meatball Subs).
Many people are looking to this alternative as a healthier option that has less of an environmental impact. While the environmental impact could be its own blog post, here are some thoughts about whether or not it’s actually healthier.
The Beyond Burger is entirely plant based. It uses a variety of different plant proteins – like pea, rice, and soy. These proteins combined create a “complete protein” (a food that provides us with all nine essential amino acids). Something that was previously only available from animal-based protein, like cheese and eggs.
The overall nutritional profile of the Beyond Burger compared to a ground beef burger are quite similar in terms of calories and protein. There are also some bonuses you get from the Beyond Burger you wouldn’t get from beef. For example, the plant proteins in the Beyond Burger also contribute fibre to its nutritional profile. Unfortunately, that’s where the positive similarities end.
There are certain nutrients we like to limit in our diet because of their potential negative health effects. Consuming high amounts of sodium and saturated fats have long been associated with a risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.
When it comes to sodium and saturated fats, there is very little difference between the Beyond Burger and a ground beef burger. The fat is pretty much the same, and the Beyond Burger has a higher amount of sodium.
As for public opinion? I can’t be sure about that – it seems that it’s going to be something you’ll either love or hate.
You’ll have to try it and let me know in the comments below!