Plant-based meat may not be as healthy as advertised

Published: Jan. 8, 2020 at 5:23 PM CST
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Plant based meat products such as the Impossible Whopper at Burger King are sweeping the nation, but now health experts are warning that these products may not be as healthy as advertised.

"I think we're kind of indoctrinated into thinking if something is plant based, it is going to be healthier,” said Susan Kasik-Miller, a Dietitian at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital.

But according to burger king's nutritional charts, an impossible whopper, made with plants, has 1,240 mg of sodium.

That's compared to 980 mg in the regular whopper and 400 mg of sodium in a large McDonald’s fries.

McDonald’s is also testing a plant based burger but it is not available locally yet.

Kasik-Miller says eating too much salt and sodium is bad for your health.

"It can cause your blood pressure to go up if you have a lot of extra fluid on your body,” she said. “Long term, there's maybe some impact on your blood pressure, it may affect your kidneys, it may affect your bone health."

Health experts say just because something is plant based, it does not make it healthy, but Kasik-Miller also says plant based products can help people looking to cut other things out of their diet, such as fat.

"Everybody has their own health goals,” she said. “I think everyone has things that they want to change in their diet. Some people it is carbohydrates, some people it is fat, it is sodium, some people are trying to get more protein out of their diet."

At the end of the day, Kasik-Miller says it all comes down to moderation.

"I think with the average person, the average healthy person, everything works in your diet. It is all a matter of moderation and not thinking one thing is needed to keep you healthy."