Are Plant-Based Burgers Better Than Their Meat Alternatives? | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Are Plant-Based Burgers Better Than Their Meat Alternatives?

Netflix used to be a destination for mindless TV and drama series you could binge-watch over a weekend. Now, it’s home to some of the most mind-bending documentaries that will see you question your fitness, diet, and even your wardrobe. If you’ve seen The Game Changers, you’d likely have entered into a discussion about whether it’s time to go plant-based – even if just part of the time. But when it comes to burgers, which protein is best?

According to the nutritionists, it turns out certain plant foods are better than others. There might be a rise of meat alternatives on offer at your local supermarket, but not all are created equal. When it comes to favourites that are high in protein, you want to be reaching for beans, chickpeas and lentils. 

According to the EAT-Lancet report published in 2019, Aussies still aren’t enough enough plant foods. It’s a disappoint figure, particularly when you consider the fact that “A diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods, confers both improved health and environmental benefits.”

When it comes to choosing a plant-based burger, nutritionists advise to compare ingredients lists. Longer lists are likely to include fillers and preservatives, indicative of highly processed foods. You also want to keep an eye out for sodium as high salt intake has been linked to diet-related deaths globally. Opting for a low sodium burger isn’t just a healthier option, it’s better for your heart. 

You also want to consider protein and fibre. Plant burgers excel when it comes to fibre compared to their meat alternatives. While they’re similar in their energy and macronutrient make-up, often plant-based proteins are nutritionally superior to meat. 

If you’re going to swap out meat for a plant-based burger, opt to stay natural where possible. This means looking for tofu, tempeh, beans and pulses that makeup the burger patty. And if that still has you confused in the grocery aisle, make your own patties at home. Chickpea and sweet potato burgers are packed full of protein, zinc and iron. Simply team them with herbs, spices and a sprinkling of bread crumbs, and you’ve got a nutritious meal ready to go. 

By Mens Health Staff

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