Are plant-based burgers and meat a healthy option compared to the real thing? On this episode of Straight Talk MD, Dr. Brandy Patterson sheds some light on …
Plant-Based Burgers | Straight Talk MD with Dr. Brandy Patterson
Are plant-based burgers and meat a healthy option compared to the real thing? On this episode of Straight Talk MD, Dr. Brandy Patterson sheds some light on the matter.
Read more on this topic at https://blog.uvahealth.com/2020/02/18/plant-based-burgers/
Hi, welcome to Straight Talk MD. I'm Dr. Brandy P. You may be familiar with the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This came to mind upon reading a recent article about plant-based hamburgers.
They're appearing more and more on menus these days under the names Impossible Burger or Beyond Burger. Although these burgers are plant based, they're not your typical veggie burger. In fact, these burgers are advertised to appeal to carnivores, those people who crave the taste of meat, who enjoy that beefy texture and tinge of red peeking out from under the bun. If that sounds like you, then Impossible or Beyond Burgers may be worth trying.
But before you make these meat substitutes part of your diet, it's very important to consider the pros and the cons. First, these products are plant based, but they are also highly processed and have a lot of additives to enhance their beefy flavor. There is no evidence that genetically-modified foods are bad for us. But if you prefer to stick with whole foods or ingredients you can actually pronounce, you're better off choosing real lean beef.
Pseudo beef has comparable protein and less cholesterol than the real thing. But these plant-based burgers do have more salt and saturated fat. So there's no indication that they're actually better for you. A turkey burger or true veggie burger is a healthier option as long as you steer clear of the mayo and the nacho cheese, of course.
One of the key selling points of these meat-free products is their positive impact on the environment. This may be the primary reason to swap out your regular burger. Cattle farming has a significant carbon footprint. So limiting beef consumption could have a positive impact on the climate.
The bottom line is that there's no harm in choosing a pseudo burger over a real beef burger, but if you're making the swap for health reasons, then these may not be your best option. As with all foods, but especially our guilty pleasures, moderation is key. Thank you so much for watching this segment of Straight Talk MD.