Valley nutrition expert has a beef with plant-based burgers

Jan 27, 2020, 4:15 AM | Updated: 10:28 am
(Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)...
(Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Several fast-food giants have rolled out plant-based burgers to their menus in an effort to lure in non-meat-eating customers by selling it as a healthy alternative to beef.

Is that the case?

Stephanie Espinoza, a dietitian and nutritionist with Nutritional Professionals, says plant-based burgers are just another processed food that’s not good for you.

“Just enter the latest processed food,” Espinoza told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “A plant-based meat alternative that tastes and looks like beef. It even bleeds like beef. It’s high in sodium, saturated fat, it’s loaded with additives and chemicals. Remember their goal is to make it taste like beef.”

She says processed foods are having a negative impact on our health causing chronic inflammation and disturbing our gut health, both linked to chronic diseases.

“With the addition of wheat and soy which are common allergens, preservatives, salt, flavorings and fillers to enhance the taste and texture, and the shelf life, I’m going to say move on past this product and find a healthier option,” Espinoza said. “If you’re a vegan, vegetarian or just following a plant-based diet, in my opinion, you’re still just eating a fast-food burger.”

Espinoza encourages the growing trend of plant-based eating but it needs to consist of more whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and healthy plant-based fats at the foundation.

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Valley nutrition expert has a beef with plant-based burgers