Beyond Meat or Beyond Health? A Step in the Wrong Direction

A place to get your questions answered from McDougall staff dietitian, Jeff Novick, MS, RDN.

Moderators: JeffN, Heather McDougall, carolve

Beyond Meat or Beyond Health? A Step in the Wrong Direction

Postby JeffN » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:49 am

If you go look at Dr McDougall's Facebook page, he put up a post yesterday with the label of the new "Plant-based" vegan burger Beyond Meat, with the caption, Beyond Meat or Beyond Health?

https://www.facebook.com/DrJohnMcDougal ... 4360044054

Image

The product, per 4 oz serving, has 290 calories, a calorie density of ~1200 cal/lb, is 65% fat, 16% saturated fat, has 450 mgs of sodium and contains isolated protein and oils (canola, coconut oil and sunflower oil).

This makes it pure CRAP

The company markets their product as "all the benefits of plant-based."

Really??

The product is not just pure CRAP, it's actually what I call, Premium CRAP, CRAP that has been modified, marketed & advertised to give the illusion and delusion of being healthy/healthier when compared with ‘regular’ CRAP.

The post has over300 comments.

While I didn't get an exact count, many of the over 300 comments were from people defending this product by saying at least it's not a real burger, eating it is saving animals, it's a transition food, it tastes like the real thing, it's good once in a while, and so on. 

Sorry, but no, no, no, no, no and so on... NO!

Why?

Because even in the world of vegan burgers these may be the highest in calories, fat, sat fat and sodium and contains oils & isolated protein powders, making it the worst.

Not only are there several packaged vegan burgers that are much better then this one, one can simply make their own very easily.

One of its selling points is that is has the taste and mouth feel of real beef. One person even commented that they enjoy being able to eat a vegan burger that actually tastes like the real thing.

So why defend a pure Premium CRAP vegan burger just because it is vegan when there are much healthier options. It's not like the only choice we have is to eat a real burger, eat nothing, or eat this Premium CRAP.

I have often said (even in this forum) that the biggest obstacle to the success of the vegan "movement" is the vegans themselves. This is why vegans get such a bad name & are shooting themselves in the foot.

Welcome to the future of the WFPB & vegan movement.

This is why I am not part of any movement or a vegan RDN, just a health care professional doing my job.

In Health
Jeff
User avatar
JeffN
 
Posts: 8851
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 am

Impossible Burger or Impossible to be Healthy?

Postby JeffN » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:58 am

Impossible Burger or Impossible to be Healthy?

There is another burger following in the footsteps of the Beyond Meat burger. It is called the Impossible Burger.

Image

You can find out about it here

https://www.impossiblefoods.com/burger/

Let's review the Nutrition Facts Label and the Ingredient list for it.

First, the ingredients:

Full Ingredient List: Water, Textured Wheat Protein, Coconut Oil, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Leghemoglobin (soy), Yeast Extract, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Konjac Gum, Xanthan Gum, Vitamin C, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.

It has three forms of concentrated protein including soy protein isolate.

It contains oil and in the form of the worst plant oil, coconut oil.

We don't have to go any further, as it already fails, but for the fun of it, we will. :)

On to the Nutrition Facts Label
Image

They are using the new label so we need to do an little extra math.

Calories from fat
13 grams of fat x 9 = 117 calories from fat, divided by the calories = 53% fat

Calories from saturated fat.
10 grams of saturated fat x 9 = 90, divided by the calories = 41% saturated fat.

Sodium
The sodium 430 divided by the calories, 220 = ~2/1 ratio.

For the record, it is 1175 calories/lb

It fails the ingredients, the % fat, the % saturated fat and the sodium (and is fairly high in calorie density).

Other than that....

:)

In Health
Jeff
User avatar
JeffN
 
Posts: 8851
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 am

Re: Beyond Meat or Beyond Health?

Postby JeffN » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:36 pm

This made the social media rounds again and it was clear that few if any actually clicked the link to read the full discussion here and most just raised the same issues again. Another issue that came up was that humans can make the choice to eat healthy vegan or not but animals are helpless and can't speak up or help themselves. Therefore, the main priority is caring for and protecting the animals and that is why a product like this is so beneficial, healthy or not, it is helping to save helpless animals.

I travel often and used to travel most of the time. On the plane, before take off, they make certain standard safety announcements, one of which is about what to do in case of a pressure drop in the cabin. If this happens, oxygen masks will drop and it is vital for us to put on the oxygen mask. We are always instructed to put the mask on ourselves first, before helping anyone else, especially children and infants. In many ways, infants and young children are also helpless and can't fend for themselves, so they rely on us to help them. As explained here, this is why taking care of ourselves first is of the utmost importance.

"Passengers have just seconds to put on their oxygen masks before oxygen-saturation levels drop to a perilous point. By helping others first, or ignoring the mask altogether, a person will begin to lose his or her ability to recognize faces and shapes, and eventually pass out. Hence, the flight-safety demo that reminds passengers over and over to take care of their own mask right away."

In many ways, if not all ways, I see a huge similarity here. Like young children and infants, the animals are unable to speak up for themselves or defend themselves and so they rely on us to help them. Therefore, the same logic that applies to the the safety announcement on the airplane, should apply equally to vegans who are interested in the welfare of animals.

What benefit are you going to be to the animals if you drop dead of a heat attack tomorrow or end up dying 10 years earlier cause of your diet, especially when it is so easy to make healthy (even if not perfect) choices today? Again, it's not like the only choice is the Impossible Burger/Beyond Beef burger or a regular beef hamburger. There are may healthier vegan options readily available.

In fact, the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Beef burger may be the 2 worst vegan choices. It's not like I am asking you to greatly inconvenience yourself but after all, if it was your young child or infant on the plane, wouldn't you do anything to save them, especially considering they can't fend for themselves? I just don't see why, from a rationale logical perspective, this is any different.

In the 90's I was invited to speak at one of the major international vegetarian conferences and this issue came up in the Q&A and I said the exact same thing I said above.

Often in response to my position, I am told that "people like me" are making it hard for others to become vegan. I don't see it that way. Here is how I see it..

1) I have never tried to make anyone vegan so I don't see how I am making it harder for anyone to do something I am not asking them to do. I am not a vegan advocate and I don't proselytize.

2) Many of my clients are already vegans. They are vegan advocates, proselytize and work to save animals but come to me because of their health issues. By working with them to resolve these issues, which often means fine-tuning their diets and getting rid of most, if not all, of the vegan CRAP, I am helping them to live a healthier longer life so they can do more of what they enjoy doing. I didn't force them to do this, they choose to do this so they can be healthy.

3) I am a health advocate and my focus is on helping my clients to get the "95%" right and not arguing with them or debating them over the "5%." This includes not insisting that they become vegan but to realize that to be healthy, they do have to dramatically reduce the consumption of all animal food products to very small amounts if included. This is often a surprise for them to learn, that they can not only reverse their chronic conditions but thrive on a diet with so little animal products. Many will eventually decide to drop all animal products from their diet and go on to become vegan for many of the other reasons people become vegan (environment, animal rights, etc),

I only see these 3 as wins for the vegan movement.

Perhaps there should be some similar safety announcement, like the one on the plane, that all new vegans get...

"The animals you are trying to help are counting on you to be there for them. Therefore, dying young or becoming sick and disabled will only reduce your chances of being as helpful as you possibly could. So many animals are counting on you and need you and will die if you are not around to help them, Therefore, if only for their sake, please take care of yourself."

In Health
Jeff
User avatar
JeffN
 
Posts: 8851
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 am

Re: Beyond Meat or Beyond Health?

Postby JeffN » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:20 am

Consumer Reports just rated 15 veggies burgers on sensory (flavor and texture) and nutrition. The Beyond Beef “Beast” burger received the lowest score.

Again, it’s not like the only choice is the Impossible Burger/Beyond Beef burger or a regular beef hamburger. There are many healthier vegan options readily available.”o

In Health
Jeff
User avatar
JeffN
 
Posts: 8851
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 am

Re: Beyond Meat or Beyond Health?

Postby JeffN » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:56 am

The future of vegan I warned about many years ago, is now here.

This should end any notion that the "vegan" movement is the same as the field of WFPB lifestyle medicine/nutrition.

Image

Maybe it is some higher form of compassion to sacrifice your own health and life to save an animal, especially when it is not necessary as there are healthy choices around.

In Health
Jeff
User avatar
JeffN
 
Posts: 8851
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 am

Re: Beyond Meat or Beyond Health?

Postby JeffN » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:48 pm

From the label reading class. Helps put things in perspective. (Beyond Beef made some minor changes to its formula so the numbers are slightly different then the ones above)

Image

In Health
Jeff
User avatar
JeffN
 
Posts: 8851
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 am

Re: Beyond Meat or Beyond Health?

Postby JeffN » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:31 am

Meat Is Murder. But You Know That Already.

"High-tech fake meat isn’t the answer, because even though vegan ultra-processed food doesn’t kill animals it kills people and furthers climate change."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/17/book ... -foer.html
User avatar
JeffN
 
Posts: 8851
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 am

Re: Beyond Meat or Beyond Health?

Postby JeffN » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:14 pm

New Chart

Image
User avatar
JeffN
 
Posts: 8851
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 am


Return to Jeff Novick, RD

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests



Welcome!

Sign up to receive our regular articles, recipes, and news about upcoming events.