In recent years, the rise of plant-based diets has paved the way for innovative alternatives to traditional meat products. Impossible Foods’ burger is the plant based world’s shot at fast food for those who are avoiding animal products, but is the vegan Impossible burger healthy? Let’s dive in and explore this meatless marvel. A lot of people find the idea of “fake meat” weird and unappetizing, but you might be surprised to find that it’s not all that crazy. We’ll compare it to its beefy counterpart in terms of health benefits and nutritional value.

About the Vegan Impossible Burger

First things first, let’s dissect the ingredients list of the Impossible Burger. It boasts a blend of soy and potato proteins, coconut and sunflower oils, and a secret ingredient known as soy leghemoglobin, derived from the roots of soy plants. This key ingredient is crucial for giving the impossible burger “meat” its signature “meaty” taste and is responsible for its heme-containing protein, mimicking the taste of real meat. I’ve heard comments from a lot of people making assumptions that the beef flavor comes from some sort of lab created natural flavor, which is not true.

​Is the Impossible Burger Made of Weird or Fake Ingredients?

Impossible meat is made from a combination of plant-based ingredients, some of which may seem unfamiliar to those accustomed to traditional beef burgers. The ultimate goal is to make a healthier alternative to beef out of plant products. These ingredients are carefully selected and formulated to mimic the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of real meat. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key components:

Soy Protein

Soy protein isolate and concentrate are used as the primary protein source in Impossible Burgers. Soy is a common plant-based protein and is widely recognized for its health benefits.

Potato Protein

Potato protein is another plant-based protein source used in Impossible Burgers. It helps enhance the texture and binding properties of the burger patties.

Coconut and Sunflower Oils

These oils are used to provide moisture and fat content to the burgers, giving them a juicy and flavorful profile.

Soy Leghemoglobin

This is the “secret ingredient” in Impossible Burgers that gives them their meaty taste and helps replicate the experience of eating real beef. Soy leghemoglobin is derived from the roots of soy plants and contains heme, a molecule found in animal meat.

Vitamins and Minerals

Impossible Burgers are fortified with various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E, among others. These nutrients are important for overall health and well-being.

While some of these ingredients may sound unfamiliar or “fake” to some people, they are all derived from plant sources and are commonly used in food products. Impossible Foods, the company behind Impossible Burgers, has conducted extensive research and testing to ensure that their products are safe, nutritious, and delicious.

How Does the Impossible Burger Stack Up Against Against a Meat Burger?

When comparing the Impossible Burger to a traditional beef burger, there are several key factors to consider. Let’s break it down:

Protein Content

Both the Impossible Burger and beef burgers offer comparable amounts of protein, making them suitable choices for those looking to meet their protein needs. The plant protein in the Impossible burger has no trouble stacking up to the real beef.

Total Fat

The Impossible Burger contains less total fat compared to regular ground beef, making it a favorable option for individuals watching their fat intake. This can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease and other related conditions.

Cholesterol

Traditional beef burgers contain cholesterol, while the Impossible Burger has zero milligrams of cholesterol, making it a heart-healthier alternative. High cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease, so opting for cholesterol-free options can be beneficial.

Animal-Derived Ingredients

Unlike beef burgers, the Impossible Burger is entirely free from animal-derived ingredients, making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Nutrition Comparison

Here’s a comparison of the nutrition information for a standard serving size of these meatless burgers versus beef burger patties:

Impossible Burger Meatless Meat Patty (4 oz):

  • Calories: 240
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 370mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5g
  • Total Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 19g

Beef Burger Patty (4 oz):

  • Calories: 287
  • Total Fat: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 95mg
  • Sodium: 74mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Total Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 20g

It’s important to note that these values may vary slightly depending on the specific brand or type of burger patty, as well as any additional ingredients or seasonings used. However, this comparison provides a general idea of the nutritional differences between an Impossible Burger patty and a beef burger patty.

Impossible Burger Taste vs. a Real Burger

But what about the taste? One of the key selling points of the Impossible Burger is its ability to replicate the taste and texture of real beef. Numerous taste tests have been conducted, with many consumers unable to distinguish between the two. Whether it’s on the grill or served up at fast-food joints like Burger King or White Castle, the Impossible Burger has garnered praise for its authentic burger experience.

I can speak from personal experience having ordered an Impossible Burger several times at restaurants. Each time I take the first bite I am instantly worried that they accidentally gave me a beef burger patty instead of the impossible burger. It really is that similar! If you really critically examine it, you can tell by its appearance that it’s not beef, but it’s such a delicious substitute.

The Verdict: The Vegan Impossible Burger Healthy?

So, is the vegan Impossible Burger healthy? In short, it’s a healthy option in moderation. With its plant-based ingredients, lower fat and most notably its complete absence of cholesterol, it offers a compelling alternative to traditional beef burgers. Still, it’s a processed food product, so moderation is an important factor and it’s always healthier to eat whole plant food rather than processed foods made out of plants. But incorporating plant-based substitutes like the Impossible Burger into your diet can make it a lot easier to stick to a plant based diet. If you’re like me, you didn’t stop eating meat because you didn’t like the taste of it.

As food science continues to evolve and innovate, the Impossible Burger stands as a shining example of the possibilities of plant-based diets. Whether you’re a committed vegan, a flexitarian, or simply curious about exploring new culinary horizons, the Impossible Burger is undoubtedly worth a try. So, the next time you’re craving a burger or headed to a cookout where you’re not sure there will be anything for you to eat, consider opting for the plant-based substitute!