Veggie Burgers – Better for You than Real Meat?
6 November 2019 | The food and dietetics director for Hong Kong Adventist Hospital has done an analysis of nine different burger patties to look at their nutritional pros and cons. He spoke to the South China Morning Post about his findings.
Wong Chi-Wing, a vegetarian, looked at both plant-based and real meat burgers. Each weighed about four ounces and contained about 250 calories.
Although he found the nutritional make-up of each of the burgers to be quite similar, Wong found that veggie burgers were better than their meat counterparts in two areas: cholesterol and fiber.
Veggie burgers did not contain cholesterol, while meat burgers contained significant cholesterol (71 mg per 100 g in a meat patty sold by Wal-Mart, for example.)
In the fiber department, the average of about two grams of fiber in the veggie patties beat out the meat patties that had none.
Fat content was fairly similar across all the burgers studied.
The weakness of veggie burgers was in their high sodium content.
“For vegetarian items you are always concerned about the sodium,” said Wong. The plant-based burger patties he studied packed an average of 345 mg of sodium, with the Wal-Mart patty coming in at a mere 66mg.
Wong declined to tell the South China Morning Post if he felt non-meat burgers were healthier than their meat counterparts. He simply called the veggie versions an “alternative” with certain benefits.
Despite his non-endorsement of plant-based burgers, Wong said that he welcomed the trend embracing plant-based products, as he felt it could help meat eaters transition to vegetarian eating.