This is not a “eat meat” or “don’t eat meat” debate. If you don’t eat meat for environmental, ethical, or other personal reasons — go for it — more power to ya.
If you don’t eat meat because you feel that there are healthier meat-free alternatives, alright, won’t fight anyone on that either. Whether that is actually a fact, or just a popular trend, I don’t know.
More and more studies might come out saying meat-free is better for overall health, but could that be because meat-eaters are eating the wrong kind of meat, for example, fatty beef that’s loaded in saturated fat? Maybe. Again, I don’t know.
However, if you’re not eating meat because you’re under the impression that it’s specifically better for weight management, weight loss, or fat loss, then you’ve got it all wrong.
Case in point: The wildly-popular “Beyond Burger” by Beyond Meat produces products that look, cook, and taste like traditional beef. One 4 oz patty is 270 calories, has 20 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs, and 20 grams of fat (5 grams of which are saturated). When compared to a traditional burger, let’s say 90% lean, a 4oz patty is about 200 calories, has 23 grams of protein, 0 carbs, and 12 grams of fat (4.5 grams of which are saturated). That’s beef #1. They are both loaded with fat.
If you slap a slice of American cheese on there that’s another 100 calories and another 9 grams of fat (5 of which is saturated). Did you know that based on a 2,000 calorie diet that 5 grams of saturated fat is about 25% of your daily value? One burger, whether it be a Beyond Burger or 90% beef, and a slice of cheese and you’ve already hit 10 grams of saturated fat — or 50% of your daily value in one meal.
Toss either one between a bun, and that’s a significant amount of carbs, but carbs are not the subject of discussion here — saturated fat is.
Beef or the Beyond Burger, regardless of what is more ethically-moral, environmentally-friendly, or healthy — they are both still cheat meals. Period.
Nutrition Facts for Beyond Burger
Nutrition Facts for 90% Beef Burger
Now, before I get into my second beef with Beyond Burger, it’s not all bad.
First, the taste of the Beyond Burger is OK. And it’s nice that the protein content is as high as a traditional beef burger. So making the switch over actually does make sense if you’re not a die-hard ground beef eater. They are pretty much equals. However, as mentioned above, they’re still cheat meals and that is just way too much saturated fat for my liking. Which brings me to beef #2. After visiting the website for the Beyond Burger and clicking on as many links as possible, I couldn’t—for the life of me—find the nutrition facts of it, other than that is has 20 grams of protein. Fantastic, 20 grams of protein, but I should be aware that its fat content is also comparable to that of a traditional ground burger. So should everyone else that is thinking they are probably eating a burger that could help them manage their weight.
When I would eat a Beyond Burger or traditional burger: on a super-active day. Other than that, it’s reserved for special occasions and cheat days.
Still trying to figure out what to eat and when? Check out our new custom programming service at digitalfitnessadvisor.com