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{"id":555812290633,"title":"Beyond Meat Review: Why It's Not That Healthy","created_at":"2021-08-29T15:34:53-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Beyond Meat Review: Why It's Not That Healthy\",\n \"keywords\": \"beyond meat, beyond burger, beyond, beyond burger ingredients, beyond meat burger, beyond sausage, beyond meat ingredients\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD breaks down the ingredients and Nutrition Facts of Beyond Burger patties, Beyond Breakfast Sausage and Beyond Beef. We compare the health benefits of Beyond Meat to regular meat and other plant based alternatives and suggest what we think is the healthiest option.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/beyond-meat-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. 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Most reviews of the brand focus on cost and taste but neglect a research based review of whether or not their products are actually good for you.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the ingredients and Nutrition Facts of Beyond Burger patties, Beyond Breakfast sausage and Beyond Beef. We’ll compare the health benefits to regular meat and other plant based alternatives and suggest what we think the healthiest option is.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eBeyond Burger Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/BeyondBurgerIngredients.png?v=1630266644\" alt=\"Beyond Burger Ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBeyond Burger is the most famous product from Beyond Meat. The plant\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebased patties have received a lot of attention for (apparently) tasting similar to beef.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe protein in Beyond Burgers comes from pea protein, which is an excellent choice of vegan protein since it’s a complete protein containing all essential amino acids. Pea protein \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7468723\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ehas been proven\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in medical research to have almost identical effects on training as whey protein.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne ingredient which stands out to us is methylcellulose, which is a laxative. It’s used as a thickening agent in food products, but we find it to be a strange choice. There are other thickeners which aren’t primarily laxative in nature. It’s a safe ingredient but one we’d recommend avoiding due to potential discomfort.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis product contains “natural flavors” which as we discussed in our \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/lmnt-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eLMNT review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, we would recommend avoiding. The term “natural” is essentially unregulated in foods and supplements, and could contain any range of chemicals; some will be harmful and some will not. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWithout knowing exactly what chemicals are used, we can’t determine if they’ll be safe and for that reason we recommend avoidance.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBeyond Burgers contain a vitamin and mineral blend to make their Nutrition Facts label look better. We don’t agree with companies adding cheap synthetic vitamins to products as there’s no medical need and it may be harmful to consumers (because they get added vitamins from so many different processed food products).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall we believe this product is a decent formulation, but it is significantly less healthy than meat from pastured animals, which \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/16792218\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis more nutrient dense\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and has less questionable filler ingredients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor people choosing Beyond Burgers for ethical rather than health reasons, we recommend a brand called Hilary’s which makes vegetarian burgers with no fillers or questionable ingredients. We have no association with this brand and make no money for mentioning them.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eBeyond Breakfast Sausage Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/BeyondBreakfastSausageIngredients.png?v=1630266668\" alt=\"Beyond Breakfast Sausage Ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBeyond sausages have a similar formulation to Beyond Burgers and thus carry some of the same health risks in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNatural flavors and methylcellulose are ingredients in this formulation, but the vitamin and mineral blend is gone so that makes this product better from a health perspective in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBeyond Breakfast Sausage uses a calcium alginate casing. This compound is typically used for treating wounds, and we haven’t seen much research on its safety for ingestion. A collagen casing would be a more optimal ingredient here, but Beyond Meat likely opted to save money.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall, similar to the previous product, we find this to be a decent formulation but not one we would recommend.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do believe this product is healthier than regular breakfast sausages, because processed meat \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/26621069\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis associated\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e with increased all cause mortality, and it’s been suggested in recent medical research that the added nitrates and nitrites in processed meat like sausages are a key reason why.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOnce again we recommend Hilary’s brand of vegan breakfast sausage over this product, because that brand uses no questionable ingredients and is formulated with entirely whole food ingredients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eBeyond Beef Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/BeyondBeefIngredients.png?v=1630266700\" alt=\"Beyond Beef Ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBeyond Beef has an exactly identical formulation to Beyond Burgers, so we cannot recommend it. This product contains natural flavors, methylcellulose and a totally unnecessary added vitamin and mineral blend.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe believe, based on past medical studies, that pastured beef intake is healthier than this product. It’s more nutrient dense, contains no questionable ingredients, and we evolved eating it.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eUnfortunately we haven’t found a plant based ground beef alternative for vegetarians and vegans with a healthier formulation that we would recommend, but if we come across one in the future we will update this article.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’d recommend that vegetarians seeking ground beef just use the Hilary brand patties mentioned above as they can be reshaped into meatballs or whatever format needed.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBeyond Meat makes decent plant based meat alternatives, and their processed meat alternatives like sausages are likely healthier than the real thing.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHowever, we don’t recommend any of this brand’s products because of some of the additive ingredients they use. We recommend pastured meat as a healthier alternative for omnivores, and Hilary products as a healthier meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2021-11-11T00:02:44-05:00","updated_at":"2022-10-03T19:22:32-04:00","summary_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe review the ingredients and Nutrition Facts of Beyond Burger patties, Beyond Breakfast Sausage and Beyond Beef. We’ll compare the health benefits to regular meat and other plant based alternatives and suggest what we think is healthier.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","template_suffix":"","handle":"beyond-meat-review","tags":"_related:meat-alternatives, _related:nutrition, _related:vegan"}

Beyond Meat Review: Why It's Not That Healthy

Beyond Meat Review: Why It's Not That Healthy


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


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Illuminate Labs Beyond Meat review article header image

With plant-based meats growing in popularity across the world, we thought it would be interesting to review the ingredients of some Beyond Meat products from a health perspective. Most reviews of the brand focus on cost and taste but neglect a research based review of whether or not their products are actually good for you.

In this article we’ll review the ingredients and Nutrition Facts of Beyond Burger patties, Beyond Breakfast sausage and Beyond Beef. We’ll compare the health benefits to regular meat and other plant based alternatives and suggest what we think the healthiest option is.

Beyond Burger Review

Beyond Burger Ingredients list

Beyond Burger is the most famous product from Beyond Meat. The plant-based patties have received a lot of attention for (apparently) tasting similar to beef.

The protein in Beyond Burgers comes from pea protein, which is an excellent choice of vegan protein since it’s a complete protein containing all essential amino acids. Pea protein has been proven in medical research to have almost identical effects on training as whey protein.

One ingredient which stands out to us is methylcellulose, which is a laxative. It’s used as a thickening agent in food products, but we find it to be a strange choice. There are other thickeners which aren’t primarily laxative in nature. It’s a safe ingredient but one we’d recommend avoiding due to potential discomfort.

This product contains “natural flavors” which as we discussed in our LMNT review, we would recommend avoiding. The term “natural” is essentially unregulated in foods and supplements, and could contain any range of chemicals; some will be harmful and some will not. 

Without knowing exactly what chemicals are used, we can’t determine if they’ll be safe and for that reason we recommend avoidance.

Beyond Burgers contain a vitamin and mineral blend to make their Nutrition Facts label look better. We don’t agree with companies adding cheap synthetic vitamins to products as there’s no medical need and it may be harmful to consumers (because they get added vitamins from so many different processed food products).

Overall we believe this product is a decent formulation, but it is significantly less healthy than meat from pastured animals, which is more nutrient dense and has less questionable filler ingredients.

For people choosing Beyond Burgers for ethical rather than health reasons, we recommend a brand called Hilary’s which makes vegetarian burgers with no fillers or questionable ingredients. We have no association with this brand and make no money for mentioning them.

Beyond Breakfast Sausage Review

Beyond Breakfast Sausage Ingredients list

Beyond sausages have a similar formulation to Beyond Burgers and thus carry some of the same health risks in our opinion.

Natural flavors and methylcellulose are ingredients in this formulation, but the vitamin and mineral blend is gone so that makes this product better from a health perspective in our opinion.

Beyond Breakfast Sausage uses a calcium alginate casing. This compound is typically used for treating wounds, and we haven’t seen much research on its safety for ingestion. A collagen casing would be a more optimal ingredient here, but Beyond Meat likely opted to save money.

Overall, similar to the previous product, we find this to be a decent formulation but not one we would recommend.

We do believe this product is healthier than regular breakfast sausages, because processed meat is associated with increased all cause mortality, and it’s been suggested in recent medical research that the added nitrates and nitrites in processed meat like sausages are a key reason why.

Once again we recommend Hilary’s brand of vegan breakfast sausage over this product, because that brand uses no questionable ingredients and is formulated with entirely whole food ingredients.

Beyond Beef Review

Beyond Beef Ingredients list

Beyond Beef has an exactly identical formulation to Beyond Burgers, so we cannot recommend it. This product contains natural flavors, methylcellulose and a totally unnecessary added vitamin and mineral blend.

We believe, based on past medical studies, that pastured beef intake is healthier than this product. It’s more nutrient dense, contains no questionable ingredients, and we evolved eating it.

Unfortunately we haven’t found a plant based ground beef alternative for vegetarians and vegans with a healthier formulation that we would recommend, but if we come across one in the future we will update this article.

We’d recommend that vegetarians seeking ground beef just use the Hilary brand patties mentioned above as they can be reshaped into meatballs or whatever format needed.

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Conclusion

Beyond Meat makes decent plant based meat alternatives, and their processed meat alternatives like sausages are likely healthier than the real thing.

However, we don’t recommend any of this brand’s products because of some of the additive ingredients they use. We recommend pastured meat as a healthier alternative for omnivores, and Hilary products as a healthier meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans.




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