Is The Impossible Burger Healthy?
I’ve been intrigued by Impossible Burger since it exploded in popularity and I keep seeing it on menus and hearing about it on the stock podcasts. I get that it’s vegan but is it actually healthy or healthier than meat?
Saying a food is vegan or “plant-based” does not mean it’s necessarily healthy, or healthier than it’s alternatives, or even made with whole vegetables. Many are full of derivative ingredients such as protein isolated from plants and have lost nutrients with processing, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
The Not So Good
One of the issues with Impossible burgers is the saturated fat content (which can also be high in fast food burgers but should be lower when selecting grass fed lean beef and making them yourself). Impossible Burgers non-meat formulations use coconut oil which give it their juiciness but then makes it equally as bad in saturated fat content as a beef burger. All types of saturated fat, even coconut oil have a link to the risk of chronic disease and increasing cholesterol in the body.
It’s not just the saturated fat content but the sodium content;
Both the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger have more than five times as much sodium as an unseasoned beef patty for two main reasons: preservation and flavor. While moderate salt intake is healthy, too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risks of heart disease and stroke. Mens Health Mag
What about the health advantages?
Both Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger have zero cholesterol (there’s approximately 100 mg of cholesterol in an 85% lean-beef burger) as well as more of the essential mineral iron than a beef burger does.
What are the ingredients in an Impossible Burger?
Impossible Burgers are made without animal products or byproducts and are halal and kosher-certified.
Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, and 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.
Are they healthier as far as sodium, calories and fat content? Definitely not,” Sharon Zarabi, registered dietitian and bariatric program director at Lenox Hill Hospital, via MarketWatch.
MarketWatch compared the nutritional value of meatless menu items at Burger King, McDonald’s, White Castle and Del Taco, see below. There really isn’t much difference and the meatless versions were more expensive.
Nutrition in Impossible Burger Versus Regular Beef Patty
What does an Impossible Burger taste like?
I’ll add to this later as I need to eat this to see what all of the hype is about and if it really does taste like meat
Where can you buy Impossible Burgers?
For your closest location check this map tool on the Impossible website.
There can be health risks associated with consuming red meat, especially the non-organic kind or that isn’t grass fed but like everything, eat in moderation, it’s only when eaten in excess that problems occur. So if you’re eating an Impossible Burger to be healthier or are vegan or both, you’d be better looking for another option such as whole food based (think legumes and vegetables), and skipping the bread, cheese and fries or saving either the beef or these for the occasional treats. But sometimes needs must and it’s the only vegan option at a fast food restaurant, then don’t worry about it, enjoy! Life’s too short to be worried about everything.
More sustainable (due to genetically engineered ingredients)
Impossible Foods, claims that its production process generates much less greenhouse gases than cattle farming.
Higher mineral content than beef burgers such as calcium and zinc.
Contains less protein: 19 grams versus 28 grams.
Higher saturated fat content: 2g higher.
Higher sodium Content: about 15% of your RDV, compared to 4% in beef.
What are your thoughts?
Have you tried the Impossible burger? What did you think? Drop your comments below.