How 13 Veggie Burgers Compare To Real Meat

How 13 Veggie Burgers Compare To Real Meat


Nico Reyes: Ooh, that smells good! Ian Burke: It smells like… Meredith Cash: Rubber. Benji Jones: This one looks and feels like it’s not gonna taste good. It’s like peanut butter in your mouth. That’s me and a few hungry coworkers tasting 13 different veggie burgers. Ian: Nope, nope, nope, nope.
It tastes like broccoli. Benji: Today, you can find veggie burgers pretty much everywhere. And some brands are even
trying to give real beef a run for its money. But how do they all stack up? And are they really that much
healthier than the real thing? That’s what I set out to discover. Let’s go hunt some veggie burgers! There are so many options! In grocery stores, I
found your typical brands, like Boca and MorningStar. And at fast-food chains, I picked up the Impossible
Burger and the Beyond Burger. And after that, there was
nothing left to do but eat and rank which burgers reigned supreme. Kyle Desiderio: This is
like re-re-re-refried beans. Benji: Spoiler, that
brand wasn’t a favorite. Nico: This is beans on,
like, the second week. Beans.
Kyle: Oh, God. Benji: In the end, six
volunteers, including me, tasted all 13 veggie burgers. Plus, one real beef burger, which I tossed in for good measure. We scored each burger on its overall look, smell, taste, and texture, and on how it compared
to a real beef burger. Ian: That’s like wet
sand. It just fell apart. Meredith: You don’t
need teeth to eat this. Benji: Overall, the veggie burgers… well, they weren’t very popular. But one did stand out: the Impossible Burger from Burger King. Commercial: With a patty
made from plants, no beef. Get it while it lasts. Nico: That’s a burger. Holy moly!
Kyle: That’s really good. This is the best one by far.
Nico: In terms of taste. I thought we were gonna
be sad this whole time. Benji: It got a near-perfect score in the first category. It even beat out the beef burger, and it was just shy of the
beef burger in the second one. Which makes sense, because, you know, beef should win in a category about how meat-like something is. The only other veggie
burger that came close in either category was Gardein. But as you can see, it was still several points
away from Impossible. And there was something else I noticed. Many of the low-scoring burgers were knocked for smelling
and tasting artificial. Meredith: No. I taste chemicals. This tastes like plastic, like, up in the back of your palate. And I can’t get past that. Ian: It smells like Clorox. Benji: And that got me thinking, are these burgers actually good for you? After all, eating healthy
is one of the main reasons why people avoid red meat. So I asked a registered dietitian. Today we’re gonna talk
about veggie burgers, so I thought it was
appropriate that we would get one of the new Impossible
Burgers from Burger King. Lisa Moskovitz: I don’t
regularly eat Burger King, or at least I don’t want
anyone to know that I (laughs). Benji: After I was scolded for making a dietician eat fast food, we got into it. Lisa: Hm. Benji: From a health point of view, what should you consider? Lisa: If it’s gonna be
the source of protein, then you definitely wanna
look at the protein content. Benji: She said to shoot for: Lisa: 15 to 30 grams of
protein per veggie burger. Benji: So, how did our burgers measure up? Let’s take a look. As you can see, a lot of
them had plenty of protein, like Dr. Praeger’s. Twenty-eight grams! That’s way more than even the beef burger. And while a lot of veggie-burger
protein comes from soy, Moskovitz said that’s not a problem. Lisa: Now, the consensus
is pretty much that not only is soy not bad for you, but it actually can fight off cancer. It can be really good for your heart, and as a vegetarian and
definitely as a vegan, it’s a really good source
of complete protein. Benji: You should also
be mindful of sodium. Lisa: The average healthy adult
should try to keep it under 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. So, if the veggie burger is clocking in at over 600 to 700 milligrams of salt, you know, that’s also
something to consider. Benji: Now, all 13 veggie burgers did have more sodium than the beef patty. But they were still well
below that 600-milligram mark. And another nutrient to look out for is: Lisa: Saturated fat. Especially if you have a history of high cholesterol or any
sort of heart disease. If you can find one that has, like, less than 2 or 3 grams of saturated fat, that would be great. Benji: Here’s where the
Impossible and Beyond burgers stood out. Unlike most of the other veggie burgers, they had a similar amount
of saturated fat as beef. And that’s at least partly why they taste so much like the real thing. But there’s one type of fat that really sets veggie
burgers apart from real beef. And that’s trans fat. Lisa: The one thing you’ll
ever hear a dietician say don’t eat ever is trans fat. You know, everything in moderation, except for trans fat. It increases your bad LDL cholesterol, and it decreases your
good HDL cholesterol. Benji: So, there’s actually
good reason to believe that veggie burgers are
healthier than meat. Especially considering that red meat has been linked to some forms of cancer. But that doesn’t mean veggie
burgers are healthy in general. Case in point, remember
that chemical taste? Meredith: I taste chemicals. Benji: It might have something to do with the dozens of ingredients
added to these burgers to make them taste like a beef patty. Lisa: If it has a ton of
ingredients, you know, that’s probably an issue. And if a lot of those things a 5-year-old can’t pronounce, then that’s even more of an issue. Benji: I mean, I can’t
even pronounce these. And how you prepare that
burger also matters. Lisa: Are you putting cheese on it? Are you putting a ton of
ketchup and mayonnaise? Are you having it on a white bun? You know, that’s also
something you wanna consider. Benji: In other words,
fast food is fast food. It is interesting, ’cause,
like, I look at this burger, and I’m like, I am healthier
than the person next to me eating this with meat. Lisa: Yes, it might be healthier, but if you’re eating this every day and the guy next to you
is eating that beef burger once a month, who’s really healthier? Benji: Now, of course, there are reasons other than personal health
to choose veggie burgers. They have a smaller
environmental footprint than beef, for example. And no cows were killed to make them. And if you are concerned
about your health, just look for burgers with
a short list of ingredients. Or, better yet, make them yourself. Nick Fernandez: I eat almost everything. That’s just terrible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *