Which is Healthier: Impossible or Beyond? Here’s How They Stack Up
The burger wars are heating up again. It used to be you just had to decide which one you liked better: Impossible or Beyond. But not to be left out of the conversation, Lightlife, the Canadian-made burger now showing up at stadiums (where fans were supposed to be) and KFC in Canada (as a popular chicken alternative) has launched one across the bow of Impossible, claiming their meatless burger contains 14 ingredients, more than a burger should. No one puts Baby in a corner, so Impossible came out swinging with an open letter on Medium ("Setting the record straight: An open letter to Lightlife in response to its false claims about Impossible Foods’ ingredients"), fighting back and claiming its burgers not only are healthier than meat with the same amount of protein (true) but also more ecological, arriving at your plate having used fewer greenhouse gases, not to mention zero animals (true and true).
This skirmish comes on the heels of a study partly paid for (but not messed with, according to the researchers) by Beyond Meat, that found that if you swap out two real burgers for plant-based ones (aka Beyond) every day –suspend the question of who do you know who eats two burgers a day?–you will lower your cholesterol in a matter of weeks. Got it. Impossible and Lightlife are wrestling while Beyond is running away with the flag.
It's a lot to keep up with. And we are fans of meatless burgers, for goodness sake! The Beet wants people to eat more plant-based foods, substitute their favorite animal meat burgers or sausages, or real eggs and dairy, with plant-based versions, to help make the transition to a more meat-free, plant-based approach, and live healthier, longer and happier. Because when you know you can satisfy your cravings without meat, it will likely lead you to see what other plant-based foods are delicious and can allow you to ditch dairy and meat altogether.
Studies now show that a mostly plant-based diet can not only halt the progression of heart disease but even reverse some disease markers, like LDL, or so-called bad cholesterol. So if you want to start with a meatless burger or throw one onto the grill to prove to your stubborn dad or brother that they can live with less meat and more plants in their diet, these burgers are a great place to start. The win is to get loved ones fully off the processed stuff and enjoying eating a more whole food plant-based diet–because the closer the food on your plate looks to the veggies and fruits growing in your garden (or that could theoretically be if you had a garden) the better for your body.
Now in the spirit of "let's all get along," here is the tale of the tape on Impossible versus Beyond. And to just keep the third party candidate at the debate table, we have included Lightlife. But for our money, there are others to consider like Gardein and Dr. Praeger's and so many more. Check out The Beet for some great non-meat burgers to consider this Labor Day weekend.
Quick note: Which is healthier? It depends whether you want to avoid saturated fat, which is known to be linked to heart disease, or sodium, which is not great for hypertension, or carbs, and calories (key for weight loss) or other nutrients. If your primary concern is where your protein comes from then you may choose pea over soy, or the opposite. The choice is yours. We recommend a grilling taste test that allows everyone to decide their burger of choice. (My own home is a house divided.) Here are the nutrition facts:
Here is the way to decide for yourself.
Impossible Burger Ingredients: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.
Beyond Burger Ingredients: water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, contains 2% or less of the following: cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, natural flavor, maltodextrin, yeast extract, salt, sunflower oil, vegetable glycerin, dried yeast, gum Arabic, citrus extract (to protect quality), ascorbic acid (to maintain color), beet juice extract (for color), acetic acid, succinic acid, modified food starch, annatto (for color).
The Beet has extensively covered plant-based meats:
- Impossible Foods is Now Sold Nationwide at 8,000 Retailers including Walmart and Trader Joes
- Order Impossible Burgers for meat deliveries for grilling at home
- Founder of Impossible Burger claims the meat industry will become obsolete in 15 years
- Impossible Foods Teams Up With Colin Kaepernick to Support Social Justice
- I Was An Impossible Virgin. Then I Lost It. Here’s What It Felt Like
- Slutty Vegan and Impossible Foods Team With Jermaine Dupri to Feed Voters
- “Heme” is the secret ingredient of Impossible Burgers
- Beyond Commercial with Octavia Spencer
- Beyond Meat Launches Value-Pack “Cookout Classic” for $1.60 a Burger
- KFC Launches “Beyond” Chicken Nugget Line
- Beyond Meat, the CEO is Interested in Meatless Bacon
- Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara Partner With Beyond Meat
- Beyond Meat to Give Away 1 Million Burgers to Coronavirus Frontline Workers
- How to Grow During a Pandemic, PLNT Opens Its Fifth Location