Transitioning to a plant-based diet often comes with a lot of questions. A common question that many people ask is, “Are veggie burgers really that good for you?” As always, when it comes to nutrition the answer is…it depends. A better approach might be to ask how to find a nutritionally-sound veggie burger?
What Makes a Nutritious Veggie Burger?
Here at the Dr. Praeger’s Health & Wellness blog, we aim to provide a resource for those seeking healthier eating habits while also continuing to enjoy their food. Eating healthy does not need to be a drab affair, but it can be more difficult when you aren’t cooking everything yourself.
Many of us lead busy lifestyles and while cooking all meals from scratch is the healthiest option, it is not achievable for everyone. No matter what your responsibilities or obligations are, there will be a point in the day where you are hungry and in need of a quick meal. That’s when many people might turn to a frozen veggie burger, but not all veggie burgers are created equal. Let’s take a look at a few key areas which will help you determine whether what’ you’re buying is a wholesome option.
Check the Oil — What Oils Are Good for You?
Get familiar with the ingredient section of the nutrition fact label on food packages because this will tell you exactly which ingredients and types of oil it contains. Looking at which oil a veggie patty is using is the first step in deciding whether it’s something you should consume. Fat is an essential macronutrient that is critical to wellbeing and emotional health. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the good kind while saturated fats are the ones to avoid.
In our post on macronutrients, we discussed how fat does not necessarily make you fat. The key is choosing the right kinds of fat while also being mindful of portion sizes. Enjoying healthy sources of fats in moderation such as avocado, nuts, and seeds is always recommended.
The key takeaway here is to avoid certain oils and fats that have been proven to be bad for your health. Partially hydrogenated oils are the main ones to watch out for and avoid. Fortunately, the FDA has ruled against the inclusion of these oils in foods due to their link with poor cardiovascular health and risk.
At Dr. Praeger’s, we use expeller pressed canola oil in our veggie burgers and other foods. Canola oil is obtained from rapeseed oil and contains both mono and polyunsaturated fats which are also known as “good fats.” Canola oil is praised for its assistance in reducing the risk of heart disease as compared to saturated fat from beef or butter. Canola oil also has a high smoke point, which makes it very safe and suitable for cooking. Oils with a low smoking point are more likely to burn at high temperature which will destroy beneficial nutrients and also ruin the overall flavor.
Expeller pressed oil is preferred as the oil is obtained through using a machine called an expeller which applies physical force to the seed to obtain the oil. Prior to widespread usage of this machine, oils were obtained through using a chemical solvent to extract the oil. Needless to say, using the most minimal methods of processing is more desirable and healthier.
Does Your Veggie Burger Have Gluten or Soy in It?
Most people shouldn’t worry about consuming gluten unless they have a gluten intolerance, allergy, or have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Label reading comes in handy for those avoiding gluten because it means avoiding serious allergic reactions or an upset stomach.
Soy is a different matter altogether. Soy is perfectly safe to eat, however some individuals may have a soy allergy, which is why manufacturers choose to specify whether a product contains soy.
At Dr. Praeger’s we take food allergies and intolerances seriously. We offer a variety of products that are gluten and soy-free. We also make sure to clearly identify them on the packaging and labels.
How Much Fiber is in Your Veggie Burger?
Fiber is an important aspect of nutrition when it comes to satiety and gut health. Many people have trouble keeping weight off because their diets consist of foods that are high in calories but lacking in fiber. Low fiber diets cause people to be hungry more often and therefore leads to an overall higher caloric intake.
Foods high in fiber provide many benefits to your digestion while also keeping you full and satisfied. Vegetables, whole grains and legumes are high in fiber, so you should naturally be suspicious of a veggie burger that is lacking in fiber.
Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers contain ample amounts of fiber due to our commitment to using veggie-forward ingredients.
How Much Sodium is in Your Veggie Burger?
The FDA states that those who eat more than 2300 mg of sodium per day have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, which is a major contributing factor to stroke and heart disease.
Much of dietary sodium comes from packaged foods and snacks. Sodium is commonly used for its preserving qualities but also because of how much salt contributes to the flavor of foods. Many frozen foods are high in sodium, but they don’t necessarily need to be!
Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers offer wholesome flavor that comes from herbs, spices, and other savory ingredients. Our most popular veggie burger, our California veggie burger contains only 250 mg of sodium per patty! Instead of using excessive sodium, the satisfying flavor comes from a variety of healthy vegetables, herbs, and spices!
High Protein Veggie Burgers
A concern for those replacing or reducing meat intake is seeking appropriate meals that will fuel their efforts to stay in shape and get strong. Protein content, alongside fiber, is one of the key contributors to satiety. High protein veggie burgers are a great way to follow a plant-based diet while also meeting your daily protein needs.
Some of the best frozen foods for building muscle utilize the power of pea protein. Dr. Praeger’s Perfect Burger boasts 20 grams of pure-plant protein that will fuel even the toughest of workouts. Having adequate protein intake is critical for satiety and building muscle or preserving it while dieting.
Top Plant Based Burgers
Dr. Praeger’s offers a number of wholesome and flavorful options in the plant-based burger space through our commitment to simple ingredients, an eye for nutrition, and a respect for your taste buds.
Good food should be nutritious and tasty. Our frozen veggie burgers and other products are all founded on our Sensible Foods Philosophy.