Can a vegetarian burger taste really good?

Veggie burgers: healthy meatless hamburgers?

Status: 09/13/2019 2:16 p.m.
For many, veggie burgers are an alternative to classic meat burgers.

Vegetarian or vegan burgers are increasingly being offered in supermarkets and discounters. The so-called veggie burgers should look like meat cutlets and often supposedly taste like that. The vegetarian patty usually consists of vegetables, nuts, mushrooms or other vegetable meat substitutes. But many new products from the refrigerated shelves often contain questionable ingredients such as a lot of salt, saturated fatty acids, thickeners and flavors. If consumed occasionally, veggie burgers are harmless from the point of view of nutritionists. But consumers should take a close look at the list of ingredients before buying.

Healthy ingredients are lost

Veggie burgers are often industrially processed products: Individual components are extracted from vegetables and reassembled. Manufacturers often only use the protein from the plant. Often little remains of the original ingredients of the vegetable, such as secondary plant substances and vitamins.

Salt, fat and flavors in veggie burgers

Nutritionist Dr. Matthias Riedl criticizes some ingredients that Markt found in a sample in veggie burgers:

  • salt: The burgers selected have a relatively high salt content of 1.9 grams per 100 grams, for example, and too much salt in the food can lead to high blood pressure.
  • Coconut oil: The manufacturers use coconut oil in three out of four products in the sample. It contains saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol and harden the arteries.
  • Additives: The examined veggie burgers contain flavors, flavor enhancers and often also preservatives. They should make the product look and taste similar to meat, but are considered harmful to health.

Alternative to meat

For people who eat a lot of meat, eating meatless burgers can still be an alternative. In many cases, despite the additives they contain, veggie burgers are healthier than processed meat, which contains more saturated fatty acids, cholesterol and carcinogenic substances.

Veggie burger: benefits for animals and the environment

The consumption of vegetarian or vegan hamburger meatballs could reduce the high meat consumption in Germany. In terms of sustainability, the meatless meatballs are therefore recommended, says the Hamburg consumer center. The arguments:

  • The production of plant-based products uses less land and water than the production of animal products.
  • Plant-based food produces fewer harmful greenhouse gases during production.
  • Switching from meat to plant-based foods can help reduce animal suffering and long transport routes and avoid long transport routes.

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Market | 09/16/2019 | 8:15 pm