Food for Thought: How healthy are alternative meat products?


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The new bleeding veggie burger craze and lab-grown meat patties, taste like the real thing. But what’s in them?

Are they more healthful than a regular burger?

Alternative meat products may be better for the planet and farm animals. However, it is debatable if they are better for you nutritionally.

In one brand, the meaty taste comes from heme found legumes such as soy. The company originally sourced the heme from soy, but now uses genetically engineered yeast to produce it. The heme makes the burger “bleed” and gives it a pinkish interior.

In a second brand, the protein comes mostly from pea protein isolate with beet juice added to make it bleed. Other ingredients include coconut oil, and additives such as methylcellulose, lecithin, and potato starch. Both burgers are made to be similar to the nutrition content of real beef.

If you are a meat lover, these burgers taste like the real thing and are a sustainable alternative. But if you want a healthy veggie burger for your body, try a veggie burger made from whole beans and spices with few ingredients and ingredients your grandmother would recognize.

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