PLNT burger is a plant-based burger that has become increasingly popular in recent years. As more people adopt vegetarian, vegan, or flexitarian diets for health, environmental, or ethical reasons, plant-based meat alternatives like PLNT burger have emerged as tasty and nutritious options. But is PLNT burger actually healthy? To answer this question, we need to look at the ingredients and nutrition facts of PLNT burger and see how it compares to a traditional beef burger.
PLNT burger ingredients
PLNT burger is made from pea protein, canola oil, coconut oil, rice flour, methylcellulose, potato starch, apple extract, pomegranate extract, salt, and vitamins. Here is the full ingredients list:
- Pea Protein Isolate
- Canola Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Rice Flour
- Potato Starch
- Apple Extract
- Pomegranate Extract
- Vitamin B12
- Calcium Phosphate
- Sodium Ascorbate
- Zinc Gluconate
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin A Palmitate
- Potassium Iodide
Pea protein provides the bulk of the protein in PLNT burger. It is extracted from yellow peas and is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. Studies show pea protein can help build muscle similarly to animal-based proteins like whey or casein.
The burger gets its plant-based fats primarily from canola and coconut oils. Small amounts of apple and pomegranate extract add subtle fruit flavors.
Compared to a traditional beef burger, the PLNT burger has a much shorter, simpler ingredients list, lacking the preservatives, flavorings, and fillers often found in beef patties. On the face of it, PLNT burger’s wholesome ingredients sound quite healthy. But we have to look at the nutrition facts to get the full picture.
PLNT burger nutrition facts
Here are the nutrition facts for a 113g PLNT burger patty compared to a 100g beef burger patty:
|Nutrient||PLNT Burger (113g)||Beef Burger (100g)|
|Total Fat||18 g||23 g|
|Saturated Fat||3 g||9 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g||1 g|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||90 mg|
|Sodium||390 mg||110 mg|
|Carbohydrates||9 g||0 g|
|Fiber||3 g||0 g|
|Sugars||1 g||0 g|
|Protein||20 g||26 g|
Looking at the macros side-by-side, we can see the PLNT burger is lower in calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol compared to the beef burger. However, it is higher in sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, and sugars.
Protein content is comparable between the two, with the PLNT burger having 20g per patty versus 26g in the beef burger. Both provide an excellent source of filling protein.
Now let’s break down some of the key differences in more detail:
The PLNT burger is lower in total fat (18g vs 23g), saturated fat (3g vs 9g), and trans fat (0g vs 1g). This is a major advantage of the plant-based burger. Consuming less saturated and trans fats improves heart health and reduces risk of heart disease, obesity, and other chronic illnesses.
With no cholesterol, the PLNT burger also has a leg up on the beef burger’s 90mg of cholesterol per patty. Dietary cholesterol has been shown to negatively impact blood cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily cholesterol intake to 300mg or less, so the PLNT burger is the better choice in this regard.
The one area where the PLNT burger is notably higher is in sodium content – it contains 390mg versus just 110mg in the beef burger. The plant-based patty has 350mg more sodium. This is something to be aware of if you’re monitoring your sodium intake. Consuming too much sodium can increase risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.
In terms of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients, the PLNT burger likely has an advantage thanks to its additions of niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, zinc, and vitamin A. However, the beef burger contains more iron and vitamin B12 from the meat itself.
Health benefits of PLNT burger
Based on its nutrition profile, here are some of the top health benefits associated with eating PLNT burger:
1. Lower saturated fat and no cholesterol
The plant-based burger is much lower in heart-unhealthy saturated fat and contains zero cholesterol. This makes it a better option for heart health.
2. Higher in fiber
With 3 grams of fiber per serving, the PLNT burger provides more of this important nutrient compared to the 0 grams in the beef patty. Fiber promotes healthy digestion and may help lower cholesterol levels.
3. Source of plant protein
The pea protein in PLNT burger makes it a high quality, plant-derived protein source. Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass.
4. Potentially more vitamins/minerals
Added nutrients like niacin, vitamin B6, and zinc mean the PLNT burger likely contains more vitamins and minerals than the beef version. However, beef provides more iron and vitamin B12.
5. No heme iron
Plant-based iron sources (non-heme iron) are considered healthier than heme iron from meat. Heme iron may increase risk of heart disease and some cancers.
6. No carcinogens
Cooking beef at high temperatures can produce carcinogenic compounds like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines. The PLNT burger avoids this.
Downsides of PLNT burger
Despite the nutritional upsides, there are a few potential downsides to consider with PLNT burger:
1. High sodium content
With 350mg more sodium than the beef patty, the PLNT burger is quite high in sodium. This could negatively impact blood pressure.
2. Highly processed
While its ingredient list may sound simple, the PLNT burger is highly processed in a lab. It loses some of the benefits of less processed whole foods.
3. Less vitamin B12
The beef burger naturally provides more vitamin B12, which is lacking in plant foods and important for energy and brain health.
4. Less heme iron
Heme iron from beef is absorbed better than plant non-heme iron. People at risk of iron deficiency may benefit more from beef.
5. Potential allergens
The PLNT burger contains possible allergens like coconut and rice flour that are not found in beef.
PLNT burger vs. beef burger: which is healthier?
Overall, the PLNT burger appears to be the healthier option compared to the traditional beef hamburger because of its:
– Lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol
– Zero cholesterol
– More fiber
– Less heme iron
– No carcinogens formed during cooking
– More vitamins and minerals
However, the PLNT burger’s highly processed nature, high sodium content, and lack of naturally occurring vitamin B12 are downsides to consider.
For most people looking to reduce meat intake and eat more plant-based proteins, the PLNT burger is likely a healthier substitute for beef burgers. But those restricting sodium, following a whole foods diet, or concerned about iron or vitamin B12 intake may want to limit intake or continue eating beef burgers occasionally.
As with any food, moderation and variety in your diet is key – you don’t have to go 100% plant-based or 100% beef. Integrating more PLNT burgers as a swap for beef can provide health benefits as part of an overall balanced diet.
Is PLNT healthy for weight loss?
Can eating PLNT burger help you lose weight? Here are some key points on PLNT burger and weight loss:
With 270 calories per 113g patty, PLNT burger is lower in calories than a 100g beef burger which has 289 calories. Lower calorie options can make it easier to maintain a calorie deficit needed for weight loss.
More protein and fiber
The 20g of protein and 3g of fiber in PLNT burger can help you feel fuller for longer compared to the beef burger. Protein and fiber provide satiety which helps reduce overeating.
Leaner than beef
With much lower saturated fat and zero cholesterol but comparable protein, PLNT burger is overall a leaner, lighter alternative to beef. Choosing lean proteins is important for fat loss.
Avoid fatty toppings
To make your PLNT burger part of a weight loss diet, avoid fatty toppings like cheese or mayo and opt for veggies, mustard, or avocado instead. This keeps the meal light.
Watch portion sizes
Stick to a single PLNT burger patty and avoid oversized portions to keep calories in check. Pair it with a healthy side salad instead of fries.
So in summary – enjoying PLNT burgers moderately as part of an overall healthy diet with a daily calorie deficit can definitely help you lose weight. But don’t go overboard on PLNT burgers or you could gain weight just as with any food.
Should you eat PLNT burgers every day?
Can you eat PLNT burgers daily as part of a healthy diet? Here are some points to consider:
Benefits of regular intake
– Consuming plant-based proteins regularly can reduce risk of heart disease and obesity.
– May help lower cholesterol levels over time.
– Easy way to replace red meat and obtain nutrients like fiber.
Downsides of daily intake
– Large amounts of processed foods may negatively impact gut bacteria.
– Eating just one type of plant protein lacks variety of nutrients.
– High sodium intake raises blood pressure risk.
– Nutrients like iron and vitamin B12 better obtained from meats.
Ideal intake frequency
Enjoying 1-2 PLNT burgers per week as part of a varied diet with other plant proteins and lean meats is likely a healthy balance for most people. Limit intake if you have high blood pressure or are watching sodium levels.
It’s best to get a variety of plant and animal proteins rather than just eating PLNT burgers daily. Rotate in other nutritious protein sources like beans, lentils, tofu, eggs, fish and poultry. A diverse diet ensures an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant compounds.
Should kids eat PLNT burgers?
Here are some key considerations around kids eating PLNT burgers:
– Exposure to healthy plant-based proteins.
– Less saturated fat and cholesterol compared to beef.
– Source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
– Highly processed food.
– Less vitamin B12 than beef.
– Heme iron better absorbed than plant iron.
– Contains potential allergens like coconut.
– Limit to 1-2x per week as part of varied diet.
– Ensure kids still get lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy etc.
– Check labels for food allergies.
– Provide vitamin C foods to aid iron absorption.
– Pair with vegetables or salad to balance the meal.
Overall, occasional intake of PLNT burgers is likely fine for most kids as part of an otherwise nutritious diet, but don’t rely on it as their sole or primary protein source. Moderation is key, and be mindful of their unique nutritional needs.
Environmental impact of PLNT burgers
Here is an overview of how PLNT burgers compare to beef in terms of environmental impact:
Beef has a significantly higher water footprint than plant proteins like PLNT burger. It can take 1800-2500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, versus just 100-200 gallons for 1 pound of pea protein.
Cows raised for beef require vast amounts of land for grazing and growing feed crops. PLNT burger has a much lower land usage footprint since peas can be grown efficiently.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Beef production accounts for 41% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions. PLNT burger generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than a beef burger.
It takes 28 times more energy to produce a beef burger than a PLNT burger looking at the full production cycle. Beef production is energy-intensive.
Raising cattle for beef is tied to high rates of deforestation, especially in areas like the Amazon. PLNT burger does not contribute to deforestation.
Overall, PLNT burger is substantially better for the environment than beef burgers when you look at measures like water use, land use, emissions, and energy. Choosing plant-based protein options helps reduce your environmental impact.
PLNT burger offers a healthier plant-based alternative to traditional beef burgers in many regards. It is lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, while providing protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Replacing some beef intake with PLNT burger in your diet can provide health benefits and reduce environmental impact.
However, the plant-based patties are highly processed and high in sodium. Eating them daily likely isn’t ideal, and they are not a complete nutritional replacement for beef. Enjoy PLNT burgers in moderation as part of an overall varied and balanced diet for optimal health. Kids can eat them moderately too but with care to ensure sufficient intake of certain nutrients.
At the end of the day, PLNT burgers are a tasty option that can be part of a healthy lifestyle when consumed sensibly in combination with other wholesome plant and animal proteins. They provide an accessible way for meat-eaters to add more plant-based foods and reduce their carbon footprint. Just be mindful of sodium content and appropriate portion sizes.