Scientist breaks down Beyond & Impossible Burger

Scientist breaks down Beyond & Impossible Burger

January 26, 2020 42 By William Morgan


Beyond meet and the impossible burger absolutely blown up in 2019 the beyond stocks were beyond hot. There’s a general idea that these imitation meats must be healthier because they’re made from plants But does that really been out? Let’s find out Even if you’ve been living under a rock You’ve heard of beyond meats can be impossible burger. Some people prefer them for ethical reasons for others It’s the environment a study from the University of Michigan concluded that beyond burger generates 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than beef it requires less energy less than 1% of the water and 93% less land. So those are pretty impressive numbers But it’s good to keep in mind funding and conflicts of interest as I’ve said in previous videos So we gotta be fair here as well This study was commissioned by beyond meats so we can take the numbers with a grain of salt But we do know from extensive independent research that red meat is far more resource intensive and polluting than vegetables According to this recent study red meat has an environmental impact ten to a hundred times larger than plant foods So it’s not a hard sell that plant burgers are easier on the environment than beef but the third reason people are excited about the Beyond and the impossible burger is the health angle and that’s what we’re gonna focus on today Only because it’s my background since they’re made for plants They must be healthier, right or are they as far as their effect on blood markers and disease risks? We have no data compared to beef where we have hundreds if not thousands of studies short term long term Mechanistic observational interventional you name it the preponderance of the evidence the whole of the evidence? consistently points to red flags Which is why the recommendations are to go easy on red meat so we have lots of studies on beef what about the beyond and the impossible I can tell you Studies on their health effects are underway as we speak and as soon as Results are available. I’ll update everybody So what all these blogs have been doing with the head-to-head comparison beef versus imitation meats is comparing nutrient composition It’s basically an educated guess they’re speculating as to what the health effects might be We’ll take a look at the head-to-head analysis and we’ll address the question. Everybody’s asking are the imitations better or worse than beef And after that we’ll talk about why that’s not a great question to ask in the first place. Let’s do it same size for all patties four ounces for beef I’m looking at official USDA numbers But bear in mind exact values vary depending on how lean the cut is whereas the imitations are always the same It’s a standard product. So calories the impossible and the beyond are around the same about 250 calories beef 205 – 290 again varies depending how lean the meat is but similar ballpark as the fake meats Protein 19 grams are the impossible 20 grams are beyond beef most of the comparisons quote about 16 or 17 But I found cuts going all the way to 28 grams. So Significant variation but same general ballpark, maybe a little bit less or a bit more depending where you get your burger Let’s look at fats saturated fat 8 grams are the impossible 6 grams are Beyond and about 6 for beef give or take So again similar range wait, how’s that possible isn’t saturated fat supposed to be a meat and butter thing It is usually concentrated in animal products. Yes, but some oils have a ton of it as well And that’s where this is coming from. The imitations have coconut oil which we know raises our serum cholesterol I’ve covered that before and this large study just came out confirming it So this is something that confuses a lot of people if you have cholesterol issues cutting back on meat helps sure But if you replace it with coconut oil or a processed food that has a lot of it you might not see a benefit It’s worth emphasizing this otherwise people go I have high cholesterol and I stopped eating steaks I even bought these plant burgers and my cholesterol is still too high So I guess the stakes weren’t the problem at all and maybe food doesn’t matter whatsoever No food matters immensely. It’s just you jump from the pan to the fire. None of those options are great for our cholesterol levels Unfortunately, all right moving on trans fats zero in the imitations about half a gram to a gram for beef Cholesterol of course here in the imitations plants don’t have cholesterol and 60 to 100 milligrams in beef fiber Of course, none of beef only plants have fiber Imitations 3 and 2 grams not a ton but some and sodium this made the headlines 370 and 390 milligrams and much lower in beef. Bear in mind though This is if you’re eating just the patty and cooking home like everything controlled if you’re having it at a restaurant with added salt during cooking and the bun and The toppings and the sauces and God knows whatever else the sodium skyrockets almost a thousand milligrams for some commercial burgers So it eclipses the sodium in the impossible or the beyond there are many other nutrients, of course For example one difference between the two imitation burgers. Is that in the impossible? They added b12 Another thing that made the headlines is iron, but what’s interesting here is not the amount It’s that type in meat about 40 percent of the iron is Heme iron and this is thought to be one of the health concerns of red meat I’ve made videos on that and the impossible. He also decided to add some heme iron but grown in the lab from plant origin It’s called leg hemoglobin from legume. We don’t have a lot of data on that So we don’t know if it’s less problematic than the animal heme But yeah, it’s a concern but beyond on the other hand doesn’t have any M iron another concern Some people have is soy the impossible burger Has it the beyond doesn’t I’m actually making a whole video all on soy because a lot of people are concerned And confused. Is it good? Is it bad? Does it give you man boobs? So in-depth soit video coming soon we could also talk about things like antibiotics and my hormones Antioxidants and in those categories that beef is naturally going to look a little worse Although the antibiotics are very the vast majority of burgers sold are from factory farmed meat, so they’re gonna have antibiotics But if it’s a fancy burger or a homemade from like a super high quality meat or something maybe not but we can’t get away from the natural animal hormones at beef as well as the very low amounts of antioxidants compared to plants on the other hand with the imitations people are worried about Artificial components since it’s not a natural food. You are fake news Like any processed food, they have artificial components in artificial combinations and that’s always a legitimate red flag It’s never the same as eating an actual plant has grown So that’s the gist of the face to face comparison as you can see, it’s not a slam dunk It’s not like one option crushes the others Let me know if you disagree if you think one of these options is a landslide for environment and other issues. Sure but for health None of these subs seems like a great option to be completely honest if you’re worried about sodium or artificial ingredients The imitations don’t look good. If you’re worried about cholesterol trans fats and animal hormones beef doesn’t look good and if you’re worried about saturated fat None of them look good. So it’s a bit of a Sophie’s Choice And this is the main point of this video that this type of one-to-one comparison We see everywhere is a little short-sighted because call me crazy But this doesn’t sound like the ideal decision-making process to decide what foods to feed our bodies Should I have a boatload of sodium for dinner or a bunch of cholesterol and animal hormones? Hmm. I mean shouldn’t we be shooting for ideal foods things that are gonna make us stronger and healthier and sharper every day and not Split hairs between something that might hurt me and something that might hurt me a little bit less. Maybe don’t get me wrong I am NOT saying that nobody should ever go near one of these things I’m not against having a sugary snack once in a while or go out with our friends have a few drinks Or a million other things that we know are not health-promoting in and of themselves In fact, I don’t think that obsessing over food and trying to be perfect is very productive And I’ve said exactly that in previous videos and I’ve suggested that people not do it as a pterri strategy So if you have a craving once in a while and you need to have a burger I say you it if it helps you maintain consistency of a healthy night overall It’s probably not a huge deal health-wise If you’re deciding based on environment You’re probably gonna go for the imitations if you’re trying to cut back on salt or if you prefer the meat It’s probably the meat for you The key takeaway from this video. Is that based on what we know about nutrition science at this point in time? These are occasional treats not staple meals and I’m talking about all three here Health-wise. We don’t know for sure which one is better. That’s the truth and based on the information We do have replacing animal products with processed plant foods does not improve our disease risk and here’s the truth This issue is much broader than just a red meat question. You could say the stakes are much higher Because you and I both know this is going to keep coming up these companies are gonna keep churning out great imitations It’s gonna be the impossible bacon that tastes just like bacon, but no Pig was hurt and they’d be on egg That didn’t come from a chicken and eventually they’re gonna figure out how to make fake cheese that actually tastes like real cheese unlike deya which actually brings together vegans and meat-eaters because Everybody seems to hate it and every time one of these creations comes out It’s going to be a big media hype and a big debate Which one is healthier the animal one or the process one? And these products will probably be a godsend for the environment and for ethics and for people trying to cut back on red meat Yeah, they can be helpful as training wheels But let’s not fool ourselves that it’s just like eating a salad until we have actual data on health outcomes The truth is we don’t know and this type of comparison of lists of nutrients is an okay place holder But for the time being we have no reason to say that these foods are healthier than the originals they could turn out to be Or they could be worse only Actual data will tell what we already know about healthy diet from nutrition science is that it’s a pattern with lots of fruits and vegetables and bland sources of protein like beans and nuts with some white meat and fish if you want to include animal products and Otherwise low in red meat and processed food. So which one is the best burger? Nutritionally this one homemade black bean burger As far as staple meal that one takes the prize and as far as occasional treat, whichever one scratches, you’re rich, I guess If you thought that video was useful consider sharing with others who might be interested and hit that like button And subscribe for more nutrition made simple also Feel free to link up with me on my Facebook page and on Twitter for more in depth nutrition science Thanks for watching and I’ll see you on the next one