Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger patty, known for tasting like real meat. In this article, you’ll learn about what is inside an Impossible Burger, and you’ll find the answer to the question, “Is Impossible Burger healthy?”
What Is Impossible Burger?
Impossible Burger is a meat-replacement product produced by Impossible Foods. You can use it as a substitute for meat-based burger patties, or any other recipe that uses ground beef, according to the company’s website. The product, which was launched just five years ago, has rapidly grown in popularity. Nowadays, you can find Impossible Burgers at many grocery stores, online on Amazon***, or even in restaurants like Burger King.
What sets an Impossible Burger apart from its competitors is its ability to replicate the flavor of meat. Scientists, using $80 million worth of funding, researched what it is that makes meat taste the way it does. They discovered that heme was an essential component in this flavor. Heme is a molecule that carries iron and is abundant in animal protein, but scarce in plant sources. This molecule is responsible for the metallic taste of blood and rare meat dishes. By adding isolated heme molecules from soy plants, Impossible Burger is able to replicate the taste of real meat in ways that other plant-based meats are not able to. Additionally, Impossible Burger is made from a combination of many other ingredients, such as soy protein, coconut oil, and potato protein, which combine to create the fatty, juicy texture of a traditional meat-based burger.
Impossible Burger vs Meat Burgers
The first question that many people have about the Impossible Burger is whether it is healthier than a meat burger. The Impossible Burger does, in fact, have several advantages over traditional meat-based patties.
- It is a good source of fiber, with 3 g (or 11% of your daily needs) of fiber, unlike traditional beef patties, which typically have none.
- It is also a good source of calcium, with 170 mg (or 15% of your daily needs) — a nutrient that beef patties are, again, traditionally lacking.
- It also contains 610 mg of potassium, which is 15% of your daily needs.
- It has no cholesterol, compared to the high concentration of cholesterol in meat.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, the Impossible Burger is also beneficial because it contains added B12 — a vitamin that has to be supplemented with a plant-based diet.
In addition to these health benefits, the Impossible Burger is much healthier for the environment compared to meat burgers. According to the Impossible Foods website, an Impossible Burger requires:
- 96% less land
- 89% less greenhouse gas emissions
- 87% less water
Unfortunately, Impossible Burger uses soy, a crop associated with deforestation and other negative environmental impacts. However, it is important to remember that over 70% of soybeans grown in the U.S. are used to feed livestock. This means that if you consume animal products, you would be contributing more to the negative environmental impacts of soy production compared to if you eat soy directly. It is therefore a more sustainable option to eat an Impossible Burger than a meat-based burger, even though its environmental impact is still less than ideal.
If you’re thinking of reducing your meat consumption for environmental reasons, switching your beef patty out for an Impossible Burger could be a great choice for you. You’ll still be able to enjoy a familiar, meat-like flavor, but with a few nutritional perks and a significant reduction of your environmental impact.
Is Impossible Burger Healthy Overall?
Although it has many advantages over meat-based burgers, is the Impossible Burger healthy overall? The short answer is no. Like traditional beef patties, Impossible Burger is a highly processed food with a high level of saturated fat and sodium. Both of these nutrients are associated with common health conditions such as heart disease and stroke. If you are planning to reduce your meat consumption for health reasons, Impossible Burger is not a great option. Instead, you could try a black bean burger, or other whole foods with plenty of protein, including nuts and pulses.
Additionally, although the environmental impact of Impossible Burger is still much better compared to meat burgers, soy is not the most sustainable crop. Instead, try plant-based protein sources that have a lower environmental impact, such as chickpeas.
Overall, Impossible Burger is not a healthy food option, and it should not be a daily staple in your diet. However, it can be a great treat once in a while for people who want to reduce their meat consumption but still crave the familiar taste of a burger.
- Vegetarian Protein: Plant Protein Sources
- Tofu Health Benefits: Behind the Protein Powerhouse
- The Best Homemade Vegan Cheese Substitutes
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