Fast-food chains are jumping on the plant-based burger trend. But many people are wondering if these meat-free options are actually healthier than the originals.
In recent years, chains such as Carl’s Jr., White Castle, and Burger King have announced partnerships with plant-based “meat” makers Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.
Nutrition is a major reason that people are giving plant-based burger a try, according to a recent Barclays report.
However, the new burgers are not necessarily the nutritional home run that some people might expect.
Here’s how Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods’ burgers compare to their fast-food counterparts:
When it comes to calories, fat, and protein, the two options are pretty similar.
Plant-based burgers have less cholesterol. While the classic Whopper has 90 mg of cholesterol, for example, the Impossible Whopper has just 10.
However, the plant-based burgers tend to have more sodium than their meaty counterparts. The impossible Whopper has 1,240 mgs of sodium — 260 more than the original Whopper. The Beyond Famous Star has 340 mg more sodium than the burger it is based on.
Barclays concludes that when it comes to plant-based burgers, many are “thinking that they are healthier than what they really are.”
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are continuing to tweak their recipes. The Impossible Burger 2.0, for example, launched earlier this year and was designed to be substantially healthier (and tastier) than the original, with less fat and sodium.