- Not all veggie burgers and hot dogs contain a significant amount of actual vegetables and great taste perception doesn’t necessarily require them to closely resemble their meat counterparts.
- The content of veggie burgers and hot dogs can significantly differ based on their protein content, potential allergens, and cooking methods.
- Veggie burgers with less than 10 grams of protein usually contain more vegetables and whole grains, whereas those with more protein are often mainly composed of soy and wheat protein.
- While veggie burgers often contain less fat and more fiber than beef or turkey burgers, they usually have considerably more sodium.
- People with food allergies should exercise caution with veggie burgers and hot dogs as they frequently contain potential allergens like soy, wheat, eggs, dairy, and nuts.
Contrary to popular belief, not all vegetarian burgers and hot dogs are created equal. As it turns out, a decent number of them might not even have a significant amount of vegetables. Rethinking our perception about the content of these plant-based alternatives is essential for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Enjoying Plant-Based Burgers and Hot Dogs
It’s all about taste, and if the food doesn’t tantalize the taste buds, people might not eat it, no matter how nutritious the label claims it to be,” states registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner. She further explains that many popular brands showcase noticeable vegetable chunks, such as mushrooms, carrots, and peppers, indicating that plant-based alternatives don’t necessarily have to be successful imitations of their meat counterparts to be satisfying.
Choosing the Right Plant-Based Options
Ahead of grilling season, make sure to remember these key points when considering which plant-based options to choose:
- Veggie burgers with less than 10 grams of protein often contain more vegetables and whole grains compared to higher protein burgers, which primarily consist of soy protein and wheat gluten.
- Nutrition-wise, veggie hot dogs often have fewer calories, less fat, and more protein than traditional hot dogs.
- Even though veggie burgers generally contain less fat and more fiber than beef or turkey burgers, they usually have significantly more sodium.
- Being vegan-friendly does not ensure a higher vegetable content. Not all products which exclude animal-derived ingredients such as eggs and cheese, contain more vegetables.
- People with certain food allergies should be cautious while consuming meatless burgers and hot dogs, as most contain soy and wheat and several contain eggs, dairy, and nuts.
- Lastly, some of these plant-based alternatives tend to crumble on the grill. To avoid this, consider using cooking spray and cooking over low to medium heat. Baking or broiling in an oven or toaster oven, microwaving, or pan-searing might turn out to be better ways to cook certain brands of veggie burgers and hot dogs.
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