You’ve likely seen plant-based burgers like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat explode in popularity. Looking and tasting like real beef, they’re marketed as a more healthful, more eco-friendly, but equally tasty alternative. Eating less meat is certainly good for the environment, but in terms of nutrition, processed plant burgers aren't exactly healthier than the animal version. The main points to focus on:
Plant burgers are considered an ultra-processed food by the Nova food classification system, falling into the same category as instant noodles and packaged cookies.
Ultra-processed foods are linked to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Although the ingredients in plant burgers are derived from healthy foods like soy and potato, they’re so highly processed that they’ve likely lost many health benefits.
At Apeiron Life, we recommend eating whole foods as much as possible. That means choosing a plant burger made from minimally processed, whole beans, lentils, and whole grains.
If you do eat meat, choose a high quality burger made from pasture raised, grass fed meats.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can certainly eat processed plant burgers occasionally, but note that they are quite processed.