Veggie Burgers...Healthy or Salty?

Martha Edwards of That’s Fit wants to know, are veggie burgers healthy or not? See for yourself:
Of all the burgers out there, I think the general consensus is that veggie burgers are the healthiest of the bunch. They're low in saturated fat, and fat in general, plus they're lower in calories than regular beef or chicken burgers. As a non-vegetarian, I always get the same reaction when I order a veggie burger at a restaurant: 'Huh? Are you on a diet or something?' But I suspect that what veggie burgers lack in calories and fat they make up for in add-ons like cheese and sauce. But then again, I could be wrong…

…The reason for the high amount of calories? Like I said, it's the add-ons -- particularly the cheese and the sauce. Order yours without any add-ons but veggies and your saving yourself a whole bunch of calories.
Personally, as far as veggie burgers go, calorie-content is the last thing I worry about. Check out the nutrition facts of these popular brands:

Boca Meatless Burgers Original

Garden Burger The Original

Amy’s All American Veggie Burger

Disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, soy sauce powder, salt, smoke flavor, and sea salt? I’m more worried about the salt, than the calories. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Most of the processed soy products can be tasty additions to a plant-based diet, but they are generally high in salt and are not nutrient-dense foods, so use them sparingly. In conclusion, the soybean is a superior food, containing the difficult-to-find omega-3 fats. Beans in general are superior foods that fight against cancer and heart disease, which is why you will benefit from using a variety of beans in your diet.

Studies have shown soy's beneficial effects on cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors. However, there is no reason not to expect the same results from beans of any type--it's merely that more studies have been done on soy than on any other beans. There are numerous studies indicating that soybeans are rich in various anti-cancer compounds such as isoflavones. Most beans are rich in these beneficial anti-cancer compounds, and many different flavonoids with anti-cancer effects are found in beans of various color. I always recommended the consumption of a broad variety of phytochemical-rich foods to maximize one's health. Beans are no exception--try to eat different types of beans, not just soy.
From time to time I’ll eat a veggie burger, but I don’t consider them healthy. I’d just sooner eat a veggie burger, than an artery-clogging regular burger—you know?
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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Llouise - April 3, 2008 10:35 AM

Yeah, and who wants to be puffy the next morning after one of these babies? :)
I see loads of salt in a lot of the supposedly healthy foods, even doctor-developed/recommended ones.

You can make tastier ones at home anyway. :^)

Lilly - April 3, 2008 10:55 AM

I love the recipes I've found for homemade (bean based) "veggie" burgers so much better than the stuff you buy in the freezer section.

Dr. Fuhrman's bean burger recipe is AWESOME!! I also love the "chili burger" recipe in the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites cookbook (less than 13% cal from fat & it can be modified to contain even less)!

There are much better alternatives out there if you love burgers. Sometimes I just marinate the big portobella caps & grill 'em...they make fabulous "burgers" ;)

Gerry Pugliese - April 3, 2008 11:29 AM

Hey Llouise and Lilly-

Funny story. About a month ago, I bought a brand of vegan veggie burgers (that shall remain nameless) and 10 minutes after eating two of them (they were small) I hurled them back up--EGAD!


Lilly - April 3, 2008 1:16 PM

Gerry, I don't think that's uncommon...I tried getting the vegan "chickn nuggets" for my kids (*cough* Boca *cough*), and my son barfed them up...he NEVER gets sick! I would've been better off making him real chicken :(

Jayson - April 6, 2008 12:15 PM

The pre packaged veggie stuff is sometimes a welcome break to those families who are juggling work, after school activities, and still want to make sure their kids are eating healthy. We do stay from the boca brands :-)

It takes no time at all to make a big salad though :-) Dr Fs bean burger recipe is pretty killer too ! Have been tempted to try the portobella burgers !


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