Do you have a favorite vegan burger yet? With their recent explosion in popularity, even people with no previous interest in veganism are giving them a try.
When A&W started offering Beyond Meat burgers in Canada last year, they sold out in a matter of weeks. In what KFC deemed a “Kentucky Fried Miracle,” the fast-food chain offered plant-based chicken as a limited test in Atlanta and sold out in less than five hours.
Clearly, the people have spoken.
As the demand for plant-based alternatives grows, so do the options. If you’re debating what vegan burger to try or are interested in switching up your current choice of patty, we’ve put together some recommendations.
Why Try a Vegan Burger or Other Alternative Meats?
There’s no getting around it–alternative meats are still highly processed foods. Just because something says “vegan” on it doesn’t mean it’s particularly healthy. Many of these “mock meats” are also more expensive than unprocessed plant-based foods.
However, just because we probably shouldn’t be chowing down on vegan burgers every day doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them every once in a while. This is especially true for those still transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.
It’s not easy to go vegan overnight. It takes time to adjust to new ingredients and get used to a different style of cooking. If you’re finding yourself missing and craving old foods, using vegan alternatives is a great way to simplify the process.
Eventually, you’ll probably lose your appetite for the animal-related products you previously enjoyed. In the meantime, take advantage of the fantastic alternatives increasingly available to us today.
Did You Know?
Besides being the cruelty-free choice, vegan burgers are considerably eco-friendlier than their meat counterparts. Let’s look at some stats:
- One beef burger is equal to 50kg of CO2 emissions. That’s the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 150 miles!
- It takes a grand 2,500 liters of water to produce one beef burger, and only 158 liters for one soy burger. To put that into perspective, 2,500 liters of water is equal to approximately 38 showers, 416 toilet flushes, 120 dishwasher loads, or 100 laundry loads.
Why Do Some People Still Crave Meat?
At this point, we’re all aware our bodies don’t need meat to thrive. But why do some people still crave it? In this insightful interview from Plant Based News, Dr. Michael Klaper explains why people experience these cravings. When you’re used to eating meat, your body down-regulates the production of carnitine and creatine because you’re already getting it from your meals.
Naturally, once you stop eating these foods, your body still needs these nutrients. It will start producing them on its own, but that process may take longer for some than others. While your body is learning to synthesize these nutrients independently, it’s common to have meat cravings.
As Dr. Klaper states: “This is not normal human physiology. It is an acquired dependency created by feeding muscle flesh three times a day in infancy. No primate does that.”
If you’re attempting to move towards a vegan diet and struggling with cravings, let yourself off the hook. Being tough on yourself will only end in unnecessary frustration. Try to be patient with your body and go at your own pace.
What Vegan Burger Should You Try?
Wherever you are at in your plant-based journey, a delicious vegan burger can always come in handy. Whether you’re battling cravings or just want a convenient treat, we’ve got you covered.
All our recommendations are cholesterol-free. If you’re scanning the options at your local grocery store, read the ingredients closely. Some veggie burgers still contain animal products such as cheese.
Vegan Burgers for Meat-Eaters
For those of you craving a realistic mock burger, here are our top picks:
Beyond Meat Burger
Clocking in at a whopping 20g of plant protein, the Beyond Meat burger is famous for a reason. It’s so convincing that you might take another peek at the label after your first bite. It really mimics a typical burger in taste, consistency, and cooking.
MorningStar Farms Meat Lovers Vegan Burger
If you’re hunting for a meat-like burger on the healthier end of the spectrum, consider the Meat Lovers Vegan Burger. It has 27g of protein, and 26% less fat than a regular patty. With zero artificial colors or flavoring, it’s one of the more health-conscious options.
Healthiest Options: Half The calories, lowest fats and lowest sodium.
Gardein Ultimate Beefless Burger
Gardein has a wide variety of alternative meat products available, and the Ultimate Beefless Burger is a solid contender in the burger market. It maintains a meaty-texture with a blend of soy, wheat, organic ancient grains, and veggies.
365 Everyday Value Plant-Based Burger
Want your burger with some extra flavor? This Plant-Based Burger promises a smoky and spicy taste. Thanks to the TVP base, the burgers have a non-grainy consistency. They are also certified Kosher.
Vegan Burgers for Veggie Lovers
Do burgers resembling real meat actually gross you out? If you’ve been vegan or vegetarian for a while, you might not be into that kind of thing. Check out our favorite veggie-friendly options below.
MorningStar Farms Veggie Lovers Vegan Burger
For an option high in protein, iron, and dietary fiber, give this Veggie Lovers Vegan Burger a try. We love that it includes mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery, lentils, spinach, and pumpkin. It’s higher in sodium, calories, and fat than some other options on our list.
Hilary’s Root Veggie Burger
There’s a lot to appreciate in this low-sodium burger with zero gluten, soy, corn, and nuts. True to its name, it includes ingredients like sweet potatoes, red beets, turnips, and carrots. It also has one of our favorite anti-inflammatories, turmeric.
Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger
Another low-sodium choice, this California Veggie Burger is only 120 calories per serving. With ingredients like carrots, peas, broccoli, onion, and spinach, this burger is bursting with veggies goodness.
Gardein Garden Veggie Burger
If you’re looking for the product with the lowest fats (and zero saturated fats), try this Garden Veggie Burger. Gluten-free and certified Kosher, it includes 5g of protein per serving.
Still Not Sure Which Burger is Best for You?
We’ve compiled all the most important nutritional values so you can decide for yourself what is best for you. Enjoy!
Meat Lover Burgers Comparison Table
Veggie Lover Burgers Comparison Table
Have you tried any of these vegan burgers? Give your favorite a shout-out in the comments!