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The Impossible Burger Not as Healthy as You May Think

The Impossible Whopper burger is photographed at a Burger King restaurant in Alameda, California
The Impossible Whopper burger is photographed at a Burger King restaurant in Alameda, California. (Ben Margot/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 August 2019 11:07 AM

This week Burger King is launching the Impossible Burger, a plant-based whopper of a meal that has been touted as the biggest breakthrough in fast-food veggie burgers. The Impossible Burger goes nationwide Aug. 8 at all 7,200 Burger King locations in the United States.

The biggest difference in the Impossible Burger over other veggie burgers is it "bleeds" like a real beef patty thanks to leghemoglobin, a synthetic soy-based product.

"We're making meat from plants – that's never been done before," boasts Impossible Goods founder Pat Brown. "People have made plant-based replacements for meat, but they haven't made plant-based meat."

But experts say the burger, which is higher in fat than the regular meat-based product, is not all that healthy. In fact, it might be dangerous for some folks.

"These Impossible Burgers have an impossibly long list of ingredients — 22 — most of which I would never want to eat," Jayson Calton, Ph.D., co-author of "Rich Food, Poor Food," tells Newsmax. Calton, a board-certified micronutrient specialist, says Impossible Burgers' main contents are soy protein isolate, sunflower oil, and coconut oil — none of which are organic.

"Unfortunately, according to 2014 USDA statistics, 94% of U.S. soy is genetically modified. Genetically modified soy is sprayed with Roundup and is one of Monsanto's most important and dangerous products."

Soy can also give you "man boobs," slow down your metabolism, and for women, interfere with menstrual cycles, which can increase your risk of breast cancer. According to Calton, a recent study found men who took 56 grams of soy protein powder over 28 days experienced a 16% drop in testosterone. A 2013 study published in the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism" found a diet high in soy reduced levels of a hormone involved in regulating fat and blood sugar levels.

"This increases the likelihood that your body will store fat rather than burn it for fuel," Calton said. "While storing fat is bad, making additional at cells might even be worse, and that is exactly what eating soy can do for you."

Tara Gidus Collingwood, MS, RDN, tells Newsmax that while a plant-based diet is best for us from both a health and environmental perspective, the Impossible Burger is not necessarily healthier.

"It is higher in saturated fat than a regular burger, and is similar to protein and fat to an 80% lean ground beef burger," she says. "It also contains wheat and soy, so if you have allergies or intolerances to either, it is not the right choice for you!"

Soy is considered to be one of the eight most common food allergens for both children and adults.

Nutritionist Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, writing for Healthline, points out the soy leghemoglobin that gives Impossible Burgers its bloody appearance is made by adding soy protein to genetically engineered yeast. While it was recently deemed GRAS by the FDA, its long-term safety is still unknown.

"Current studies on soy leghemoglobin have only been conducted on animals and over short periods," she says.

"While I like the fact more restaurants are making plant-based foods available other than just salads, I think it's always wiser to make your own plant-based burgers that are less processed and have healthier ingredients like lentils, beans, quinoa, and shredded veggies," Collingwood noted. "However, if you are traveling and need a quick fast food fix, the Impossible Burger offers a good alternative to meat."

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This week Burger King is launching the Impossible Burger, a plant-based whopper of a meal that has been touted as the biggest breakthrough in fast-food veggie burgers. The Impossible Burger goes nationwide Aug. 8 at all 7,200 Burger King locations in the United States.
burger king, impossible burder, diet, fat, plant-based, meat, fast food
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2019-07-07
Wednesday, 07 August 2019 11:07 AM
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