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We compared 13 veggie burgers and Burger King’s Impossible Burger was the only one that stood out

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We compared 13 veggie burgers and Burger King’s Impossible Burger was the only one that stood out

Category : entrepreneur

Nico Reyes: Ooh, that smells good!

Ian Burke: It smells like…

Meredith Cash: Rubber.

Benji Jones: This one looks and feels like it’s not gonna taste good. It’s like peanut butter in your mouth. That’s me and a few hungry coworkers tasting 13 different veggie burgers.

Ian: Nope, nope, nope, nope. It tastes like broccoli.

Benji: Today, you can find veggie burgers pretty much everywhere. And some brands are even trying to give real beef a run for its money. But how do they all stack up? And are they really that much healthier than the real thing? That’s what I set out to discover.

Let’s go hunt some veggie burgers! There are so many options! In grocery stores, I found your typical brands, like Boca and MorningStar. And at fast-food chains, I picked up the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger. And after that, there was nothing left to do but eat and rank which burgers reigned supreme.

Kyle Desiderio: This is like re-re-re-refried beans.

Benji: Spoiler, that brand wasn’t a favorite.

Nico: This is beans on, like, the second week. Beans.

Kyle: Oh, God.

Benji: In the end, six volunteers, including me, tasted all 13 veggie burgers. Plus, one real beef burger, which I tossed in for good measure. We scored each burger on its overall look, smell, taste, and texture, and on how it compared to a real beef burger.

Ian: That’s like wet sand. It just fell apart.

Meredith: You don’t need teeth to eat this.

Benji: Overall, the veggie burgers… well, they weren’t very popular. But one did stand out: the Impossible Burger from Burger King.

Commercial: With a patty made from plants, no beef. Get it while it lasts.

Nico: That’s a burger. Holy moly!

Kyle: That’s really good. This is the best one by far.

Nico: In terms of taste. I thought we were gonna be sad this whole time.

Benji: It got a near-perfect score in the first category. It even beat out the beef burger, and it was just shy of the beef burger in the second one. Which makes sense, because, you know, beef should win in a category about how meat-like something is. The only other veggie burger that came close in either category was Gardein.

But as you can see, it was still several points away from Impossible. And there was something else I noticed. Many of the low-scoring burgers were knocked for smelling and tasting artificial.

Meredith: No. I taste chemicals. This tastes like plastic, like, up in the back of your palate. And I can’t get past that.

Ian: It smells like Clorox.

Benji: And that got me thinking, are these burgers actually good for you? After all, eating healthy is one of the main reasons why people avoid red meat. So I asked a registered dietitian.

Today we’re gonna talk about veggie burgers, so I thought it was appropriate that we would get one of the new Impossible Burgers from Burger King.

Lisa Moskovitz: I don’t regularly eat Burger King, or at least I don’t want anyone to know that I do (laughs).

Benji: After I was scolded for making a dietician eat fast food, we got into it.

Lisa: Hm.

Benji: From a health point of view, what should you consider?

Lisa: If it’s gonna be the source of protein, then you definitely wanna look at the protein content.

Benji: She said to shoot for:

Lisa: 15 to 30 grams of protein per veggie burger.

Benji: So, how did our burgers measure up? Let’s take a look.

As you can see, a lot of them had plenty of protein, like Dr. Praeger’s. Twenty-eight grams! That’s way more than even the beef burger. And while a lot of veggie-burger protein comes from soy, Moskovitz said that’s not a problem.

Lisa: Now, the consensus is pretty much that not only is soy not bad for you, but it actually can fight off cancer. It can be really good for your heart, and as a vegetarian and definitely as a vegan, it’s a really good source of complete protein.

Benji: You should also be mindful of sodium.

Lisa: The average healthy adult should try to keep it under 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. So, if the veggie burger is clocking in at over 600 to 700 milligrams of salt, you know, that’s also something to consider.

Benji: Now, all 13 veggie burgers did have more sodium than the beef patty. But they were still well below that 600-milligram mark. And another nutrient to look out for is:

Lisa: Saturated fat. Especially if you have a history of high cholesterol or any sort of heart disease. If you can find one that has, like, less than 2 or 3 grams of saturated fat, that would be great.

Benji: Here’s where the Impossible and Beyond burgers stood out. Unlike most of the other veggie burgers, they had a similar amount of saturated fat as beef. And that’s at least partly why they taste so much like the real thing. But there’s one type of fat that really sets veggie burgers apart from real beef. And that’s trans fat.

Lisa: The one thing you’ll ever hear a dietician say don’t eat ever is trans fat. You know, everything in moderation, except for trans fat. It increases your bad LDL cholesterol, and it decreases your good HDL cholesterol.

Benji: So, there’s actually good reason to believe that veggie burgers are healthier than meat. Especially considering that red meat has been linked to some forms of cancer. But that doesn’t mean veggie burgers are healthy in general. Case in point, remember that chemical taste?

Meredith: I taste chemicals.

Benji: It might have something to do with the dozens of ingredients added to these burgers to make them taste like a beef patty.

Lisa: If it has a ton of ingredients, you know, that’s probably an issue. And if a lot of those things a 5-year-old can’t pronounce, then that’s even more of an issue.

Benji: I mean, I can’t even pronounce these. And how you prepare that burger also matters.

Lisa: Are you putting cheese on it? Are you putting a ton of ketchup and mayonnaise? Are you having it on a white bun? You know, that’s also something you wanna consider.

Benji: In other words, fast food is fast food.

It is interesting, ’cause, like, I look at this burger, and I’m like, I am healthier than the person next to me eating this with meat.

Lisa: Yes, it might be healthier, but if you’re eating this every day and the guy next to you is eating that beef burger once a month, who’s really healthier?

Benji: Now, of course, there are reasons other than personal health to choose veggie burgers. They have a smaller environmental footprint than beef, for example. And no cows were killed to make them. And if you are concerned about your health, just look for burgers with a short list of ingredients. Or, better yet, make them yourself.

Nick Fernandez: I eat almost everything. That’s just terrible.

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About Author

Sammy Singh

Global VC, Founder, and entrepreneur extraordinaire as featured in Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Sammy Singh is a graduate of UCLA and Wharton School of Business as well as a former student of Loyola University of Chicago. Sammy is best known as a renowned financial technology global entrepreneur and has founded over 26 different firms across industry and all over the world. He is a venture capitalist,a TV/ Film actor, tax specialist, and marketing solutions strategist. Connect with Sammy Singh on social media below! www.linkedin.com/in/cfo www.instagram.com/champagnegqpapi www.facebook.com/officialsammysingh www.twitter.com/cxosynergy www.medium.com/@sammysingh www.crunchbase.com/sammysingh

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