Ever since I can remember I have LOVED a great cheeseburger, and if the place is right, a side of french fries and coleslaw. There is just something so satisfying about the juicy lusciousness of a thick beef burger. Lately, though, since working on a lifestyle makeover, I have had a hard time bringing myself to actually eat a beef burger.
Well, my girlfriend came over the other night and introduced me to her veggie burger. Prior to this, I have been very reluctant to try veggie burgers; let’s be honest, they just don’t sound or look very appetizing. Oh, was I proven wrong for my judgment, though! I am completely addicted to them now. So far my favorite is Gardenburger brand, Black Bean Chipotle. There are many, many brands and flavors. Most cost less than $4 for a pack of 3 or 4 patties. Here is a little breakdown on the nutritional benefits of a vegetable burger and why making the switch may be the choice for you; if you are working toward a healthier lifestyle.
Vegetable burgers are lower in calories, fat and saturated fat, making them a great diet food. A regular lean beef patty contains approximately 10g of fat, while the average veggie burger has only 3g of fat. Be sure to check the labels, though, as not all vegetable patties are low in fat (the one my friend introduced me to had 8g of fat per patty). Some vegetable patties contain as little as only 70 calories. The Gardenburger I have been enjoying lately has 90 calories, 25 from fat. Your average beef burger (excluding condiments, garnishments etc) may exceed 200 calories per serving! A nice thing about veggie burgers, you don’t need to add condiments or garnishments because the flavor is in the patty, so you don’t have to worry about adding more calories to your meal!
Vegetable burgers contain little to no preservatives, which are additives you commonly find in processed foods that have negative effects on your body; they are intended to extend the shelf life of a product. Preservatives found in foods, such as beef burgers, contain large amounts of sodium nitrites. These have been linked to life-threatening diseases such as brain cancer and leukemia.
Vegetable burgers, though typically lower in protein, are high in fiber. This helps you maintain a healthy weight, prevent serious diseases, such as colon cancer, and avoid bacterial infections. Fiber is beneficial to not only your colon, but to your heart health as well. Red meat, such as beef, has been linked to colon cancer.
Another benefit of veggie burgers is they contain disease fighting ingredients. For example, soy is known to contain phytochemicals that help lower your body’s LDL cholesterol, aka “bad” cholesterol. LDL can clog your arteries and block blood flow which leads to heart disease or heart attacks. Soy can also help you avoid osteoporosis and other bone diseases by helping your bones retain calcium.
A major disadvantage to veggie burgers, though, is the amount of sodium they contain. When purchasing a vegetable burger be sure to check the label to ensure the sodium contents are not greater than what is considered a healthy amount (no more than roughly 1,500mg/day (though the USDA claims 2,300mg daily is ok); 500mg/meal). A lean beef patty contains about 240mg of sodium, while a veggie burger may contain up to 398mg of sodium per patty. Be aware of your sodium intake as to avoid any adverse effects on your body such as an increased risk of kidney disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Enjoy your vegetable burger on a delicious sprouted or gluten free bun (my favorite is Ezekiel Bread, found in your local freezer isle) with your favorite toppings, or completely by itself. You can thank me later ;)———————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Do you want to contribute to Mommy Hot Spot? Share your tips, tricks, recipes and advice with our community of 100,000+ Moms today. Please review our submission guidelines and contribute a blog now.