Plant-based burger: American diners try to have it both ways

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Have you tried a plant-based burger at a fast-food chain?

Frankly, our tastebuds were too busy dealing with with the onion, lettuce, tomato, condiments and bun to pay much attention to the taste “meat” in a Burger King Impossible whopper.

It was there, all right, and your kid probably wouldn’t know the difference if he didn’t hear you make the order at the drive through.

You might feel better tricking your child into eating more “vegetables,” but should you?

Will Coggins’ Center for Consumer Freedom, a mouthpiece the meat, food and other industries, says plant-based meats are ultra-processed foods that can cause weight gain, which may or may not prove to be true if and when research is completed on plant-based meats.

A check of the ingredients in the new products will find things like pea protean, coconut and canola oils, potato starch and rice protein, or proteins from soy and potato.

While the resulting product is similar in protein and calories to hamburger, it does have less saturated fat and no cholesterol -- but about four times the sodium.

The jury is still out on whether eating plant-based burger imitations is actually more healthy, but the Beyond [Meat] and Impossible folks point to the pushback as a sign they’re making headway against the traditional meat industry.

There’s little argument that a diet heavy in fast food is unhealthy, and pairing a fake burger with a soda and fries isn’t making much headway toward a healthier lifestyle.

Some easy ideas for transitioning to a healthier diet:

-- Eat fruits for snacks instead of candy or junk food.

-- Drink water instead of soda, and try cutting down or eliminating caffeine while you’re at it.

-- Eat whole grain bread.

-- Add fresh veggies to dinner.

-- Make homemade pizza instead of ordering.

-- Nuts instead of chips. If you normally snack on chips, try unsalted peanuts or raw almonds.

-- Soymilk instead of whole milk.

-- Whole grain cereal. If you eat sugary cereal, try a whole-grain cereal instead.

-- Berries instead of candy.

-- Scrambled tofu instead of fried eggs. Scrambled tofu is a secret vegan wonder. Try this recipe.

-- Try some great veggie dinners, like soup or chili.

While most of us would definitely benefit from consuming more fruits and vegetables, there are times nothing beats a traditional burger.

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