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Many products are available for people following a plant-based diet, including burgers. These may best suit those who would like to cut down on meat products or follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

This article looks at some of the top plant-based burgers that individuals can purchase. We also discuss the difference between vegan and plant-based diets, how to choose a suitable product, and other alternatives.

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Plant-based eating is a lifestyle in which individuals prioritize calories from plants, fruits, and vegetables.

However, it does not necessarily eliminate meat, fish, or products derived from animals.

Vegetarians generally avoid meat, poultry, and fish but may consume derivative products from animals, such as eggs. There are also different types of vegetarian diets, such as:

  • Lacto-vegetarian: People who follow this diet exclude meat, fish, poultry, and eggs but will include dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter.
  • Ovo-vegetarian: Those that follow this diet exclude meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products but allow eggs.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Individuals following this diet exclude meat, fish, and poultry but allow dairy products and eggs.
  • Pescatarian: Those who follow this diet exclude meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs but allow fish.
  • Vegan: A person following a vegan diet excludes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, including foods that contain these products. They may also prefer not to use any product derived from animals, such as leather and beeswax.

Learn more about plant-based versus vegan diets here.

Choosing suitable plant-based burgers may depend on a few different factors.

Ingredients

A person may consider a burger’s ingredients as they may help toward their specific health goals. For example, some of the products contain soy.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that soybeans can help reduce blood pressure, lower the risk for breast cancer, and improve bone health in people who are postmenopausal.

Additionally, a 202

1 review shows that soy may protect against cancer and that previously thought thyroid disturbances may be more likely due to insufficient iodine intake.

Some products also contain highly processed vegetable oils that vary in quality, such as canola oil. A 2020 study found an association between cooked vegetable oils and a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

Other foods may contain added sugar, salt, color additives, flavor enhancers, or preservatives that individuals may prefer to avoid. For example, some sugar substitutes, such as maltodextrin, have a higher glycemic index and may also cause fluctuations in insulin levels.

Additionally, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025 advise limiting foods higher in added sugar and sodium.

Some burgers carry certifications indicating that they are gluten-free or suitable for kosher diet. This can help people following these lifestyles to choose these products.

Net carbohydrates

When looking at a product label for nutritional information, some companies state a product’s net carbohydrates or “net carbs,” which they typically calculate by subtracting the amount of fiber and sugar alcohols. This is on the assumption that they will not digest or impact an individual’s sugar levels.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) advises that this may not always be accurate. For this reason, the organization and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not recognize the term “net carbs,” nor does it have a legal definition.

When looking at “net carbohydrate” amounts, individuals should proceed with caution and consider checking the total amount for accuracy.

Learn more about net carbohydrates here.

Other considerations

Individuals may also consider:

  • flavor
  • affordability
  • caloric value
  • sustainability

Here are some of the top plant-based burgers for a person to consider.

Medical News Today does not rank products in any order and does not recommend one product over another. A person should choose the product that best suits their needs.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best kosher: Gardein Garden Veggie Burger

Key ingredients: brown rice, carrots, onions, peas, and rolled oats.

Price: Around $7 for a pack of four burgers, 85 gram (g) each.

The table below shows key nutritional information for these burgers:

Per 1 burger serving
Calories130
Carbohydrates19 g
Fiber3 g
Sugar2 g
Fat4.5 g
Protein4 g
Sodium330 mg

These burgers are vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and do not contain any genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

They contain more than five vegetables. However, they also have soy, canola oil, and sugar.

Reviews on the company website say that these burgers go well with cheese but may need more flavor.

Best for a budget: MorningStar Farms Original Chik Patties

Key ingredients: Wheat flour, vegetable oil, soy protein concentrate, and sugar.

Price: Around $4 for a pack of four burgers, 71 g each.

These burgers contain the following key nutritional information:

Per 1 burger serving
Calories160
Carbohydrates17 g
Fiber3 g
Sugar2 g
Fat7 g
Protein9 g
Sodium280 mg

These affordable, chicken-flavored patties contain vegetable oils, soy, and sugar. They are vegan and have a plant-based certification. They also come in a resealable bag.

Reviews say that while the flavor mimics a real chicken flavor, the texture is a little wet.

Best keto: Dr. Praeger’s All American Veggie Burger

Key ingredients: Hydrated pea protein, avocado oil, onions, and sweet potato puree.

Price: Around $6 for a pack of two burgers, 113 g each.

The table below shows the key nutrition information for these burgers:

Per 1 burger serving
Calories230
Carbohydrates10 g
Fiber6 g
Sugar0 g
Fat12 g
Protein22 g
Sodium530 mg

These burgers are gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and do not contain any soy.

These burgers can be a good option for those following a low carbohydrate or keto lifestyle.

Reviews say that the burgers taste great on their own without extra seasoning and have a hint of a typical grill flavor.

Best availability: Beyond Meat Plant-Based Burger Patties

Key ingredients: Pea protein isolate, canola oil, coconut oil, maltodextrin, and sunflower oil.

Price: Around $5 for two burgers, 113 g each.

These burgers contain the following key nutritional information:

Per 1 burger serving
Calories290
Carbohydrates6 g
Fiber3 g
Sugar0 g
Fat22 g
Protein20 g
Sodium450 mg

These vegan, gluten-free patties do not contain any soy. A person can purchase them online and receive them packed in dry ice-insulated containers.

The burgers may suit those who follow a keto diet. However, the vegetable oils and maltodextrin may not suit everyone’s needs.

The company has a 3.4 rating on TrustPilot with mixed reviews. Some individuals enjoy these burgers for their taste, while others say the salt content is too high and do not appreciate the additives.

Best chicken flavor: The Alpha Burger Plant-Based Crispy Chik’n Patties

Key ingredients: Soy protein concentrate, wheat gluten, wheat starch, and canola oil.

Price: Around $7 for three burgers, 85 g each.

The below table shows some key nutritional values for these burgers:

Per 1 burger serving
Calories170
Carbohydrates20 g
Fiber2 g
Sugar1 g
Fat6 g
Protein10 g
Sodium200 mg

These plant-based burgers are free from GMOs. However, they contain sugar, dextrose, and sunflower oil.

Reviews say that the burgers resemble a real chicken fillet and taste like real chicken. However, the total number of reviews is limited.

Best soy-free: Neat Plant-Based Mix

Key ingredients: Pecans, sweet potato, black beans, and coconut sugar.

Price: Around $14 — makes four burgers, 39 g each.

The table below shows some key nutrition information for these burgers:

Per 1 burger mix serving
Calories200
Carbohydrates17 g
Fiber5 g
Sugar3 g
Fat13 g
Protein5 g
Sodium240 mg

A person can use this plant-based mix to make the burgers themselves. They do not contain any soy.

This vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free mix comes with preparation instructions, although some reviews claim they are confusing.

Reviews mention the flavor resembles falafel instead of real meat, and some also mention an eggy flavor.

Best beef flavor: Impossible Foods Impossible Burger

Key ingredients: Soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and dextrose.

Price: Around $8 for three burgers, 113 g each

The below table shows some key nutritional values for these burgers:

Per 1 burger serving
Calories240
Carbohydrates9 g
Fiber3 g
Sugar1 g
Fat14 g
Protein19 g
Sodium370 mg

The Impossible Burger is gluten-free and kosher. The company says that it has no cholesterol and cooks like ground beef. However, these burgers contain extra salt and sugar.

Reviews agree that while the texture and flavor are close to real meat, they may not be close enough for everyone’s tastes.

Best oil-free: Viva Italiano Vegan Burgers

Key ingredients: Oats, pinto beans, green peas, and brown rice

Price: Around $9 — makes nine burgers, 32 g each

The below table shows some key nutritional values for these burgers:

Per 1 burger mix serving
Calories120
Carbohydrates21 g
Fiber4 g
Sugar1 g
Fat2 g
Protein5 g
Sodium190 mg

These burgers are kosher and vegan and may be a good choice for those wanting to avoid highly processed oils, soy, gluten, nuts, preservatives, or GMOs.

The mixture comes with preparation instructions.

Individuals comment that the burgers do not taste like beef but cook well and taste good with extra seasoning. Reviews also favor the lack of added sugars in this product.

Best for protein: Hungry Planet Beef Premium Burger Patties

Key ingredients: Soy protein concentrate, sunflower oil, and beet powder.

Price: Around $128 for 30 burgers, 150 g each.

The table below lists some key nutrition informationfor these burgers:

Per 1 burger serving
Calories200
Carbohydrates12 g
Fiber8 g
Sugar1 g
Fat5 g
Protein29 g
Sodium610 mg

These burgers are free from gluten and GMOs. They are vegan and obtain their color from beet powder and caramel.

The manufacturer currently has no reviews, comments, or complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Some other products people can consider include:

  • homemade vegetable burgers without sugar, additives, or vegetable oils
  • whole food soy forms, such as tofu, tempeh, natto, and edamame
  • portobello mushrooms

Learn more about soy here.

Many plant-based burgers are available, and most try to resemble the flavor of real meat or poultry, while others play on their unique flavors with vegetables, herbs, and spices.

However, some products contain sugar, vegetable oils, additives, or a high amount of salt, which some individuals may wish to avoid. Others have gluten-free or kosher certifications.

Ultimately, an individual should consider the brand and the product’s ingredients before purchasing. There are also alternatives, such as homemade, plant-based burgers.