A burger bun with cheese and vegetable slices with a large question mark in front of it.

How to Pick a Plant-Based Burger That's Right for You

It's time to reinvent the way we burger! Whether it's a tasty dinner, outdoor barbecue, or Sunday football feast, plant-based burgers are a simple trade that can satisfy your tastebuds and health goals. Check out why prioritizing the veggies can help you get ahead of your diabetes management.

Why incorporate plant-based burgers?

It's time to squash the "beef" with plant-based burgers! Unlike beef burgers, plant-based burgers are abundant in phytonutrients, plant-based compounds that help minimize cell damage in the body. Specifically, diets rich in phytonutrients may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, chronic inflammation, and more.1

Remember that living a plant-forward lifestyle doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing matter. Start with a simple trade – maybe every other time you eat a burger! A healthy yet balanced lifestyle can include both lean meats and plant-forward meals.

Beyond or Impossible: What's the difference?

Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are 2 prominent brands of plant-based burgers. While both brands have a flavor that can taste convincingly like real beef, these burgers differ in their ingredients.

For starters, Beyond Meat is a non-GMO product that contains pea protein and gets its classic "beef" color from beet extract. Meanwhile, the Impossible Burger contains soy leghemoglobin, which provides the "bleeding" effect when cooked. But, apart from minor ingredient differences, both options have similar nutrient content.

Nutrients to consider in plant-based burgers

Allow your burger choice to better both your health and diabetes management. Feel confident in your mealtime decisions by carefully reading nutrition and ingredient labels and prioritizing the following nutrients in your burger selection.

  • Higher fiber – Many plant-based burgers are high in fiber, providing about 3-6 grams of fiber per serving.2
  • Lower saturated fat – Plant-based burger alternatives keep saturated fat to a minimum, to about 0 to 8 grams per serving. However, options that mimic the appeal of beef burgers tend to be higher in saturated fat since they include coconut oil and cocoa butter, so read the nutrition facts.
  • Lower sodium – Generally, packaged food tends to be higher in sodium since it requires preservatives. But the benefits outweigh the negatives! You can keep sodium levels within a moderate range by pairing your burger with toppings such as tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and avocado.
  • Higher protein - Some plant-based burgers pack a protein-powered punch! However, their exact protein content depends on the source. Including protein in your meals can improve mealtime satiety and blood glucose control—all critical components of diabetes management.

Comparing popular plant-based burgers

Looking at all the plant-based burger options may feel overwhelming, especially when there are many nutrients to consider. Instead, use the information below to take the guesswork out of your shopping experience while finding your perfect match.2

Beef burger

  • Protein source: Beef
  • Calories: 230
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Sodium (per 4 oz serving): 75 mg
  • Protein (per 4 oz serving): 15 to 29 g

Beyond Burger

  • Protein source: Pea protein, rice protein, mung bean protein
  • Calories: 250
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Sodium (per 4 oz serving): 390 mg
  • Protein (per 4 oz serving): 20 g

Impossible Burger

  • Protein source: Textured wheat protein, soy protein isolate
  • Calories: 240
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Saturated fat: 8 g
  • Sodium (per 4 oz serving): 370 mg
  • Protein (per 4 oz serving): 19 g

Amy's California Burger

  • Protein source: Bulgur, wheat, oats, walnuts, wheat, gluten
  • Calories: 150
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Sodium (per 4 oz serving): 500 mg
  • Protein (per 4 oz serving): 6 g

Boca Burger (All American)

  • Protein source: Soy protein, cheddar cheese, wheat gluten
  • Calories: 100
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Sodium (per 4 oz serving): 350 mg
  • Protein (per 4 oz serving): 13 g

Morning Star Farms Garden Veggie Burger

  • Protein source: Soy flour, egg whites, oats, wheat gluten, veggies
  • Calories: 110
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Sodium (per 4 oz serving): 390 mg
  • Protein (per 4 oz serving): 11 g

As you can see, these are just a few of the plant-based burger options available today. Consider your nutritional needs to try a plant-based burger with the nutrient profile that fits your lifestyle!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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