Beyond Impossible: Are Beyond Burgers Healthier than Beef Burgers?

I originally went vegetarian in 1996. Back then the options were quite limited on what there was for a vegetarian teenager who didn’t know how to cook. I ate a LOT of morningstar farms corn dogs and stir fries with tofu. i am SO grateful for the 365 Healthful Ways to Cook Tofu and Other Meat Alternatives cookbook my aunt (the only other vegetarian i’d ever heard of) got me! There was no vegan blogging world (that i was aware of… maybe they had geocities pages?) and I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was I didn’t want animals to die for my food any more. More often than not, though, I was eating veggie burgers, veggie chicken patties, veggie dogs, veggie meatballs, or other processed meats from the freezer. I skipped breakfast most days, had a bagel and laffy taffy for lunch (with a cherry coke), and a frozen chicken patty with broccoli and rice (because asian) for dinner. That was a pretty standard day in my life. My mom would make home cooked meals every night for the family and if it was easy to make vegetarian (or have a veggie option) I’d get that. Like spaghetti- there would be a meat sauce and a terry sauce with frozen meatballs or just no meat. Probably not the healthiest diet ever (umm… laffy taffy and cherry coke every day?!) but it wasn’t the worst. at least i got in a veggie every night (thanks, mom!).

Now there are a million vegan options (probably literally) lining grocery store shelves and the plethora of vegan frozen foods seems to increase every year! From Gardein to Beyond Meat to Morningstar Farms (still crushing it!) to Quorn and everything else out there it’s hard to know what’s actually “healthier” than eating the less processed alternatives like chicken from a chicken or a burger from a cow. So let’s compare, shall we?

Beyond Burgers:
They are AMAZING. they are hands down my personal favorite veggie burgers and they taste, to me, the most like meat. or what I remember meat tasting like back in 1996, when i last ate it. Given that I can’t remember what I did last weekend I don’t know how much I’d trust my memory. In any case try a beyond burger and decide for yourself if you haven’t already. You can get them at most grocery stores and they grill up great! they are CHOCKED full of oil, though, so if you’re watching your fat beware. One 4oz burger made from Beyond Beef packs on 18g fat including 6g saturated fat, the kind you want to avoid if you’re watching your cholesterol. Comparing that to 100% organic grass fed beef (found from Whole Foods) that’ll be 17g fat with 7g saturated fat. so there’s that. That grass fed beef, though, will be 75mg cholesterol while (of course) the beyond beef has 0 (only animals, like humans, produce cholesterol so all vegan food is cholesterol free). Beef wins in the sodium factor though with only 65mg sodium compared to 390 found in beyond beef. More iron and calcium in beyond beef than the grass fed beef so that’s a plus in the beyond beef column. Plus fiber in beyond beef because vegans love pooping. So as far as health is concerned they’re actually pretty similar.

The biggest things to note are the dietary cholesterol in the grass fed burger vs the sodium in the beyond burger if you’re comparing healthfulness.

The key difference, though, is the non-health impacts of eating a beyond burger or a grass fed burger. If it’s going to be the same for your health, generally speaking, then why not eat the burger that doesn’t take a life or hurt the planet? it’s an awesome alternative to have if you’re going to a place like Del Taco or Carl’s Jr where you’re probably already getting a burger and let me tell ya- it’s super delish!

Have you tried beyond burgers? Do you prefer beyond or impossible?

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