Discover What You Are Eating When You Bite Into A Beyond Burger

Global meat production has skyrocketed over the last half-century with pork and poultry now exceeding 100 megatons a year and this growing meat demand is unsustainable. The reduction of animal products is arguably one of the most impactful ways in which individual consumers can alter their diets to positively impact individual and social well being and there’s growing interest in plant-based diets and meat reduction.

The more people consume meat substitutes, the less likely they are to care that it has a similar taste, texture, appearance, or aroma of meat but to appeal to those who need them, the meatier the better. Apart from all these facts, some people also have a curiosity that, Is beyond meat healthy? The article is going to answer the same question in many different aspects. 

Is Beyond Meat Healthy?

Is beyond meat good for you? Is beyond meat good for cholesterol? Is beyond meat healthy? We mostly come across such types of questions among real food lovers. Let us discuss how healthy is beyond meat. The main component of meat is protein. No doubt, it also has some other important nutrients but proteins are present in larger amounts as compared to other nutrients.

is-beyond-meat-healthy

Another important nutrient is fat that is present in beef and other real meats but is absent beyond meat. And this is the fact, that makes them beyond meat healthier. Trans fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as cancer, diabetes but it is also associated with the symptoms of depression, low testosterone in men, and even dementia.

Higher levels of trans fat in the blood are associated with up to 50 percent higher risk of developing dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. Now that partially hydrogenated oils have been phased out of the food supply, the only major source of trans fats will be from animal products.

Now the question is, what’s the tolerable upper level for trans fats? An upper limit was not set for trans fats by the institute of medicine because any incremental increase in trans fat intake increases the risk of heart disease. Trans fat is the number one killer of men and women as in any intake above zero because trans fats are unavoidable in diets that contain meat or dairy.

Consuming zero trans fats would require significant changes in patterns of dietary intake. And eating beyond meat is one of those changes in diet to eliminate trans fats. Moreover, beyond meat contains no hormones, antibiotics, or cancer-causing agents. The only problematic ingredient is sodium. Sodium remains the problem like any other processed food.

But beyond meat, it still has a lower amount of sodium than recommended daily intake. Substitutes of salt are sometimes used to lower sodium in foods. It is generally considered safe for the average adult population except for those suffering from serious health issues related to sodium intake.

For example, in people with hypertension and cardiovascular disorders, even a low amount of sodium can be dangerous.

Is an Impossible Burger Healthy?

Is the beyond burger healthier than a regular burger? Is beyond burgers healthy? The beyond burger tastes like a delicious beef patty, but it has got more beats than beef. Out of the 18 ingredients listed on beyond food’s website, some are familiar while others are a little less so.

There are 20 grams of protein in a beyond burger, the same amount you will find in a regular beef patty or burger king. In the beyond patty, much of that comes from pea protein. Now, what is pea protein? You may ask. It is not peas exactly but rather an extract of proteins in split peas.

impossible-burger

This makes it a vegetarian and dairy-free alternative to animal protein and a popular ingredient for vegan protein shakes and protein bars.

Pea proteins Nutritional benefits include nine essential amino acids although it’s not a complete protein source. Unfortunately, extracting the protein from plants results in leaving behind some of the good stuff like magnesium, folate, and potassium.

The other legume in a beyond burger is mung bean. Despite it being funny to name, this little green bean is a powerhouse of nutrition. It contains lots of fiber, nutrients, vitamins and it helps regulate blood sugar. Even in its extracted form, mung bean protein can help control blood pressure and is linked to increased brain development in infants. The non-legume protein in the burger is brown rice protein.

Along with the pea and mung bean, this makes the beyond burger a good, good protein source, containing enough of the nine amino acids that are required for optimum health.

Is Plant-based Meat Healthy?

Is plant-based meat good for you? What is the healthiest plant-based burger? Is plant-based meat healthier than regular meat? Let us see whether plant-based meat is good for you or not? There are many sources of plant-based proteins that are used beyond burgers and other beyond meat products. The most common is Buckwheat, soy protein, pea protein, and brown rice protein.

Soy in protein is a common ingredient in veggie burgers and is found in the impossible burger, the beyond food’s best competition. But the beyond burger is unique in that it’s a plant-based meat alternative that’s completely soy-free. Although soy has its health benefits, it’s still pretty controversial.

Brown rice protein provides a way to increase protein consumption while avoiding the red and processed meat that most people don’t like as they are linked to chronic illnesses like cancer. Also, some people are unable to digest dairy protein due to lactose intolerance.

The brown rice protein also serves to make the beyond burger coarser and more meat-like plant oils like canola oil give the beyond burger a juicy fatty flavor that mimics that of a meat patty. This dripping of plant oil stimulates the way that a meat burger bleeds beefy juices when it’s pressed down or bitten into.

plant-based-meat

These plant oils also keep the burger moist while cooking and help it retain its ground meat-like texture. Also keeping the beyond burger moist is sunflower lecithin. Lecithin is an emulsifying agent that helps bind together fats and nonfat. Using sunflower lecithin instead of commonly used soy lecithin is another way that beyond burger maintains a soy-free and GMO-free product.

In addition to canola oil, the beyond burger contains solid plant fats such as coconut oil and cocoa butter. While these solid plant fats add to the juicy texture and taste, refined cocoa butter is also used to create the illusion of small white flecks of fats dispersed evenly throughout the pink fake meat protein. This makes the act of cooking the beyond burger more similar to flipping actual beef patties.

Is Beef Beyond Good for You?

Is impossible meat healthier than beef? The following table will demonstrate the comparison of beef and beyond meat.

Nutritional Comparison Between Beef and Another Plant-based Meat Patty

Here you can find the difference:

NutrientsBeefImpossibleBeyond
Trans fat (g) 1.500
Saturated fat (g)886
Sodium (mg)23370390
Cholesterol (mg)8000
HormonesYesNo No
AntibioticsYesNoNo
Probable human carcinogensYesNoNo

The quantity of trans fats indicates that beyond meat is more healthy as compared to real beef. Compared to regular beef patties, beyond burgers has 25 percent less saturated fats and all the saturated fats are still from plants and this meat is completely free of carbs.

Is Beyond Meat Good for Weight Loss?

Meat or beef is good for weight loss as it contains a good amount of protein. But the amount of fat in meat becomes problematic. The good news is that meat has zero trans fats and carbohydrates, so it is very good for weight loss, especially for those who are on a ketogenic diet and have to eat only from protein sources.

Fiber is also an important component of a weight loss diet. Well, if you look at the fiber content beyond meat, it has very little fiber as compared to whole meat as processing can eliminate 90 percent of the fiber. But as far as proteins are concerned, meat has enough protein to make you feel satiated.

The Bottom Line

Beyond meat seems to be taking the world by storm since more and more restaurants are adding beyond meat to their menu and their stock continues to climb but, Is beyond meat healthy? Yes, it is healthy because it has zero trans fats and saturated fats but it also has a few problematic ingredients including sodium. It can be a problem for people who are on low sodium diets.

Everything has some good or bad aspects but you should not let the perfect be the enemy of good.

FAQs

Is beyond meat healthy?

Beyond meat is healthy for people who are perfectly fit and are not facing any diseases related to sodium intake. It has zero trans fats and is also good for those who want to lose weight.

Is beyond meat as healthy as it seems?

It depends on the ingredients present in it. If there are more preservatives, artificial ingredients, and high sodium contents, meat is less healthy. So, it is important to choose a better quality beyond meat brand.

Are meat substitutes healthy?

Meat substitutes can be a better choice if the real meat is not available for those who are perfectly vegan or lactose intolerant. It has the same amount of protein as real meat and zero trans fats, which is really good news for those who want to lose weight.

Haleema Sadia

A physiotherapist by profession, a Nutritionist by passion, a literarian by soul, and a writer by heart!

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