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Impossible Burger vs. Beyond Burger: Which Is Better?

Health + Wellness
Packages of "Impossible Burger" and "Beyond Meat" sit on a shelf for sale on Nov. 15, 2019 in New York City. Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD

The Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are two plant-based alternatives to traditional beef patties.


They're designed to taste, look, and feel like meat-based burgers but contain no meat, eggs, dairy, or other animal-derived ingredients.

At first glance, these two burgers are similar, leading some to wonder if one is better than the other.

This article compares the Impossible and Beyond Burgers to help you determine which to choose.

Similar Nutrition Profile

The Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger have similar nutrition profiles. Each 4-ounce (113-gram) serving provides around:

Both are rich in protein, providing close to the same amount you would get from a 4-ounce (113-gram) beef patty.

However, their protein source differs. Soy and potato provide most of the protein in the Impossible Burger while peas, mung beans, and brown rice are the main sources of protein in the Beyond Burger.

Whereas the Impossible Burger is slightly lower in calories and fat, the Beyond Burger contains fewer carbs. Both have similar amounts of sodium and provide around 25% of the Daily Value (DV) of iron.

In addition, the Impossible Burger is fortified with additional vitamins and minerals, making it slightly higher in zinc, phosphorus, certain B vitamins, and vitamins C and E.

Summary

Both burgers have a similar nutrition profile but their source of protein and main ingredients vary, making the Impossible Burger slightly richer in certain vitamins and minerals.

Both are Suitable for Special Diets

Both the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger can suit various dietary needs.

For instance, both burgers are halal- and kosher-certified, in addition to being gluten-, peanut-, and tree-nut-free. The Beyond Burger is also soy- and GMO-free.

Moreover, both burgers are made exclusively from plant-based ingredients. They contain no meat or animal byproducts, such as dairy or eggs, making them suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.

That said, some vegetarians and vegans prefer the Beyond Burger, as PETA noted that the Impossible Burger used animal testing to evaluate the safety of soy leghemoglobin — the main ingredient used to give the Impossible Burger a meat-like flavor.

Summary

Both burgers are halal- and kosher-certified and free of gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, and all animal products. The Beyond Burger is also soy- and GMO-free. This makes both burgers suitable for a variety of diets.

Both are Convenient to Use in a Variety of Recipes

Both products are a versatile and convenient replacement for ground meat.

They hold their shape well during cooking, are easy to prepare, and even release a red fluid similar to what you see if cooking meat. This meat-like texture and feel differentiate them from other plant-based burgers currently available.

The Beyond Burger comes as a pre-shaped patty while the Impossible Burger is sold as plant-based grounds that can be formed into the shape and size of your choice.

That said, the company behind the Beyond Burger also manufactures Beyond Beef — a package of plant-based ground meat that can be used in the same way as the Impossible Burger grounds.

This makes both burgers a handy meat replacement for a variety of recipes beyond just burgers, from lasagna and bolognese sauce to gyros and skewers.

Summary

The Impossible and Beyond Burgers have a similar texture and meat-like feel. They're both simple to cook and can easily replace red meat in countless recipes beyond just burgers.

Both are Processed Foods

Many people view the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger as healthier alternatives to meat-based burgers.

That's in large part because plant-based diets have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, it's important to note that not all plant-based foods are equally beneficial.

For instance, heavily processed, sugar- and salt-laden meat alternatives are not as conducive to optimal health as whole-food-based, minimally processed options.

Despite being made exclusively from plants, both these burgers pack added sugar, salt, and other processed ingredients like protein isolates.

These ingredients contain significantly lower amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds than unprocessed plant-based burger ingredients like whole beans, lentils, or peas.

Because of this, both burgers are likely best enjoyed in moderation.

Summary

Both the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are made from processed ingredients. Thus, they contain fewer vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds than burgers made from whole foods.

Where to Buy Them

The Impossible Burger can be found in the meat aisle of select grocery stores in the United States, including Gelson's Markets in Southern California, select Fairway Market locations in New York, and certain Wegmans throughout the United States.

It's also available at Burger King and several other restaurants in the United States, China, and Singapore but can be difficult to find in other countries.

On the other hand, the Beyond Burger is more readily accessible both in U.S. and international grocery stores and restaurants.

It's currently available in several supermarkets, including Safeway, Target, Walmart, Wegmans, and Whole Foods. You can also order it at a range of independent restaurants, as well as chains like Denny's and Subway.

Between the two, the Beyond Burger is the only one currently available for purchase online.

Summary

Both burgers are sold in select restaurants and supermarkets, though the Beyond Burger remains more widely available in the United States, internationally, and online.

The Bottom Line

The Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are two plant-based alternatives to meat burgers.

Both are certified kosher and halal and can be used in a variety of recipes. They're also free of gluten, peanuts, and tree nuts, which makes them versatile meat-free options for people with special dietary requirements or for those who follow vegetarian or vegan diets.

Overall, their nutrient content and versatility are similar. The main differentiating factor is the source of protein. Nonetheless, it's important to note that both are made with processed ingredients, including salt, sugar, and protein isolates, and are best enjoyed in moderation.

Therefore, unless you're trying to avoid soy or peas, simply follow your taste buds when picking a favorite between the two.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

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