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Is Plant-Based Patty Healthier Than Regular Beef Burger?

Plant-based burger and sausage patties have became a trend among vegetarians for its “no meat” content. They hav a similar texture and flavor to meat, but experts warn that not all plant-based options are healthy since most of them can be considered ultra-processed foods.

According to a consulting dietician Rosie Schwartz, swapping red meat with plant-based patties are not always the healthier option. She told Global News that one of the plant-based patty producers develop ultra-processed, plant-based patties. Ultra-processed foods were linked to various health problems by some studies.

The brand that Schwartz was referring to is Beyond Meat. It produces plant-based patties, use pea protein isolate, rice protein, coconut oil, methylcellulose, potato starch, beet juice extract and sunflower lecithin in their product.

Vice president of marketing for Beyond Meat Will Schafer said in an e-mail statement that the protein ingredients they use are heated, cooled and put under pressure to mimic the fibrous structure of meat.

What Are Ultra-Processed Foods?

According to a registered dietician with Heart and Stroke Amanda Nash, ultra-processed foods are often ready-to-eat and are difficult to make in an ordinary kitchen. Their production requires the ingredients to undergo multiple industrial processes to develop the finished product.

Adverse Effects of Eating Ultra-Processed Foods

In a clinical study published in Cell, researchers experimented on ultra-processed foods such as whole foods by making people eat an extra 500 calories of the recommended daily intake per day. The researchers found that the participants significantly gained weight after their experiment.

Another study published by Heart and Stroke claimed that a diet that contains ultra-processed foods increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure of members of its sample group.

Study author and assistant professor of nutrition at Universite de Montreal Jean-Claude Moubarac explained that eating ultra-processed foods leads to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and increased risk of depression. All of these conditions could lead to mortality.

Healthy Plant-Based Patty

Nevertheless, there are healthy plant-based patty products out there. Schwartz said that eating a lentil-based burger or whole-grain vegetable that is served as a burger meal is still a healthy option since it could boost human health and also help eradicate environmental problems.

Burger Diet A visitor eats a pork meat and mustard sandwich at the 2018 International Green Week (Internationale Gruene Woche) agricultural trade fair on January 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Studies suggest there are easier ways to lose body fat without exercise or strict diet. Sean Gallup/Getty Images