Of course they aren’t any healthier, but this article (as is generally the case) is malinformed on nutrition:
Part of the appeal for diners is that eating less red meat can cut the risk of heart disease and other health risks. But nutritionists and registered dietitians say ordering a meatless burger at a chain — especially one where you can get fries with it — might not be that much better for you. “Are they healthier as far as sodium, calories and fat content? Definitely not,” Sharon Zarabi, a registered dietitian and bariatric program director at Lenox Hill Hospital, told MarketWatch.
There is zero scientific evidence that red meat increases your risk of heart disease (or any other health risk). And there is nothing wrong with sodium, calories (per se) or fat (at least saturated fat, though transfats and seed oils are terrible, nutritionally).
“It’s almost the same amount of calories as the regular burger. The fat is slightly lower, but the saturated fat is still pretty high,” notes Zarabi of the saturated fat, which is almost the same exact amount in each. Consumers can expect to pay at least 10 cents more for the Impossible Whopper ($4.29), with prices varying by location. In the Bay Area, the meatless Whopper is selling for $6.19 before tax, compared to $4.89 for the original version. (Burger King did not respond to a request for comment.) Zarabi urges consumers to look at the weight in grams for each menu option. At White Castle, the Impossible Slider is 90 grams in weight, compared to the Original Slider, which is 55 grams. If you don’t look at the nutrition facts, it could easily seem like the Impossible Slider is worse for you, but they’re actually almost on par with each other. The Impossible Slider is 210 calories with 11 grams of fat, and 4 grams of saturated fat, compared to the Original Slider’s 140 calories with 7 grams of fat and 2.5 grams of saturated fat. The Impossible Slider costs $1.27 more. White Castle did not respond to a request for comment.
This is all junk science. Calories aren’t the issue, saturated fat isn’t the issue, weight in grams isn’t the issue. And sliders are terrible, regardless of what the patty is made of, because they’re mostly bread. But at least this nutritionist gets it right:
Dr. Lisa Young, a registered dietitian and author of “Finally Full, Finally Slim,” says meat alternatives become even more unhealthy when you factor in the bread, condiments and French fries that typically round out a fast food meal.
Not to mention the sugary soft drinks. There may be sound ethical reasons for being a vegan, but don’t delude yourself that it’s a healthy diet.