Vegetarian burgers exist in many varieties, such as tofu or zucchini, thanks to the industry’s adaptation to the plant-based and vegan diet. But is it really healthier than the beef burger?
Due to their diversity of ingredients, veggie burgers vary in their nutrition. Your homemade tofu, black bean, and quinoa burger is likely to be packed with fiber, plant-based protein, and micronutrients. A veggie burger we eat at a restaurant, while made with plant-based ingredients, can be highly processed and high in sodium.
A vegetarian burger made with soy provides an interesting nutritional profile for every 70 grams of product:
- Energy: 124 calories
- Fat: 4.4 grams
- Sodium: 398mg
- Carbohydrates: 10 grams
- Fiber: 3.4 grams
- Sugars: 0.7 grams
- Protein: 11 grams
- Vitamin B12: 1.4 mcg
- Phosphorus: 144 mg
- Selenium: 15.8 mcg
- Riboflavin: 0.2 mg
- Magnesium: 39.3mg
Unlike meat burgers, most veggie burgers contain carbohydrates. Because they come from sources like beans, whole grains, and vegetables, they are generally slow-digesting complex carbohydrates. However, depending on the formulation of a commercially prepared veggie burger, some carbohydrates may come from added sweeteners.
Then again, while veggie burgers aren’t loaded with fat , these fake meats generally require a binder, like oil, to hold them together. This is why we will find a small amount of fat (about 4.4 grams) in a single veggie burger. We will look for products made with heart-healthy oils like olive or canola.
Veggie burgers cannot match the protein content of meat burgers. But that does not mean that they do not contain this macronutrient. With 11 grams of protein, the soy-based veggie burger comes with 22% of the recommended daily value.
With their many plant-based ingredients, these burgers can be a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. Patties that include green leafy vegetables, for example, will provide iron and vitamin K, while those that contain orange vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes contain a lot of vitamin A. Whole grains add B vitamins, iron and magnesium, and beans offer potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorus and more.
One micronutrient to watch out for is sodium. Due to their processed nature, many veggie burgers are high in this mineral. Sodium is essential for good health, but consuming too much of it can lead to health problems.
In addition to being tasty and versatile alternatives to meat, veggie burgers offer several health benefits. Whether we are vegan or vegetarian, veggie burgers are a convenient alternative to a traditional meat burger.
Promotes healthy digestion
A single soy-based veggie burger contains 3.4 grams of fiber, contributing to a daily goal of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
Veggie burgers made with beans can contain even more fiber. High-fiber diets can relieve constipation and help normalize bowel habits.
Helps lose weight
Opting for plant protein in a veggie burger instead of red meat could help us reach our weight loss goal. Research shows that a plant-based diet is a useful tool for weight loss and obesity prevention.
Incorporating veggie burgers into your diet is a healthy and nutritious way to cut down on extra calories and fat. When we want to lose a few kilos, we do not have to drastically change our eating habits, we will simply incorporate smarter and healthier options in the daily meal plan, such as veggie burgers. A lean beef patty has about 10 grams of fat, while the average veggie burger only has about 3 grams of fat.
In addition to avoiding fat, we can also cut a bunch of calories by switching to the veggie burger. While an average beef patty can easily exceed 200 calories in one serving, a veggie burger can be as low as 70 calories per serving. It is definitely a great start to a low calorie, low fat diet plan.
can lower cholesterol
Veggie burgers not only help prevent colon cancer, they can also prevent other serious heart disease.
Most veggie burgers and vegan burgers contain soy as an ingredient, which contains phytochemicals that can help lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol. LDL cholesterol has been shown to clog arteries and block blood flow to the heart, which can cause major heart disease or even a heart attack. By choosing to eat a veggie burger, we are helping the body fight serious illnesses.
Plant-based protein gets a lot of well-deserved glory for its relatively small environmental footprint and for helping consumers reduce their consumption of red meat. But veggie burgers can have some drawbacks.
Commercially prepared veggie burgers are a highly processed food. Ultra-processed foods, those that have gone through multiple steps from harvest to plate, have been associated with adverse health outcomes, such as overall cancer risk 10 and weight gain.
Some veggie burgers are high in sodium. If you’re managing high blood pressure through diet (or following a low-sodium diet for any other reason), consider how much sodium a veggie burger contains.
An allergic reaction to a veggie burger will depend on its ingredients. Unfortunately, this food is often made up of a source of several of the top eight food allergens.
Many plant-based burgers contain soy products, and some may also contain wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, or nuts.