Eat more vegetables! I say it all the time and you probably think it to yourself all the time, too. This week I took a trip down the veggie burger aisles of the store to see what I could find.
First and foremost, regardless of the product (healthy sounding or not), reading the label should be your first priority in determining if a product meets your health needs. And vegetable burgers are no different. They are a processed food and that makes them less healthy than their unprocessed beginnings. However, they do have some merits!
First, though, let’s look at the sodium level. I found the sodium levels to range from 350 mg to 600 mg. It is suggested in an issue of Nutrition Action Newsletter to limit sodium to 350 mg per serving for veggie burgers, but in our local store I found only two that met that criteria:
- Amy’s Texas Burger: It has 350 mg sodium per serving and is delicious! Really, I don’t think it even needs a bun.
- Boca Burger: All-American classic meatless burger made with non-GMO soy.
Most of the protein in veggie burgers is going to come from soy and wheat gluten with a little from beans/grains. Protein content will vary from 3-26 g per serving. In my opinion, it really does not matter too much what level of protein you have in your veggie burger unless you eat them a lot and you also do not eat meat. If that is the case, you may wish to aim for at least 10 g protein.
Some nice things about veggie burgers are that they are lower in fat, specifically saturated fat, and they contain vegetables and fiber. Another attribute is the fact that they are very convenient and are nice to keep in the freezer for a quick weeknight meal.
The bottom line: When choosing a veggie burger, look for one with the lowest sodium that tastes good to you!