As a vegan, when I began my keto journey, I was quite perplexed about how effective it would be given my dietary restrictions. As my friends rejoiced at the fact that beef was allowed on a keto diet, I was confused about my food options. Then I heard the question are beyond burgers keto-friendly?
While that roused my curiosity, it turns out that there is quite a lot of keto-friendly vegan food out there too! In fact, there are enough choices for skeptics like me to question the veracity of every item that claims to be keto-friendly.
For starters, as an alternative to meat, I wondered whether or not are Beyond Burgers keto friendly.
If you are wondering the same, here is a quick answer for you – yes, beyond burgers can be eaten on a keto diet! Let's dissect it (figuratively) to find out why this is so and whether you should incorporate it into your diet.
Are Beyond Burgers really keto-friendly?
To answer queries like, ‘is beyond burger keto friendly?', we must first go back to the basics and understand what beyond meat actually is!
Beyond Burgers Explained
For those of you who are new to the vegan world, Beyond Meat is a vegan substitute for traditional meat. I find Beyond Burgers to be quite a good replica of conventional beef burgers, especially when you compare them to other veggie burgers out there.
Beyond Burgers are plant-based meat-like patties that are manufactured to look, feel, and potentially taste like beef. Ingredients used include pea protein, coconut oil, canola oil, rice protein, beet juice color, and different seasonings.
The Nutritional Profile
According to Beyond Meat, one patty of Beyond Burger, which weighs around 113 grams, is packed with 14 grams of fat, out of which 5 grams is saturated fat, 6 grams is monounsaturated fat, and 3 grams is polyunsaturated fat. It also contains 7 grams of carbs, compared to 0 grams of carbs found in real beef.
At the same time, it is also equipped with more nutrients than beef. For starters, it contains 390 milligrams of sodium, 4 milligrams of iron, 330 milligrams of potassium, and vitamins like B6 and B12. It also contains 100 milligrams of calcium which is 15 percent of the required dose of the nutrient.
Every 4 oz patty contains 3 g of net carbs. That's manageable, but the alternative — real beef — contains no carbs.
Making a Beyond Burger
I will be honest with you. I am not much of a chef myself. But, making a beyond meat keto burger comes easily to me! So, I am quite sure that you won't have any trouble cooking the meat substitute either.
Since the meat already comes in the shape of the patty, all you have to do is take it out of its packet and cook the frozen item.
To make a keto beyond burger, you must first decide whether you want to pan-heat the patty or grill it.
- Use medium-high heat to warm up the pan.
- Grease the pan with a very light coat of butter or olive oil.
- Place the patty onto the utensil and cook each side for up to three sides.
- If the meat gets brown before the stipulated time, this is a signal that it is cooked.
- Preheat the grill and make sure that it is properly clean before placing anything on it.
- Grill the patty for three minutes on each side.
- Keep checking the temperature of the patty as well. If it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit even before three minutes, the burger is done.
Once the patty is done, make a burger using keto-friendly items like pickles, onions, and cheese as toppings and wrap it with lettuce wraps or a keto-friendly bun.
Can Beyond Burgers be non-keto friendly?
Whether or not is Beyond Burger keto friendly is not just dependent on the beyond meat patty. Instead, the other ingredients you choose to top it with can take away the keto from the keto-friendly meal!
Similarly, if you cook the patty in oil that has saturated or trans fat, you will be defeating the purpose. Therefore, is a Beyond Burger keto or not depends on how keto-friendly you allow it to be.
So the answer to are beyond burgers keto-friendly ultimately depends on the condiments that you put in the burger.
The Taste Test: How do Beyond Burgers taste?
Now that we know that the answer to “are beyond burgers keto friendly” is a resounding yes, the question is whether you would want to eat one or not. Now, this is something that will come down to personal preferences.
But, what does a beyond burger taste like?
Well, it tastes quite similar to beef, as similar as possible given that the item is not actually meat. When cooked on the right heat, it is juicy and has a convincing texture with a smokey flavor. It behaves like meat as well. And it is designed to be that way via the use of certain ingredients.
For example, the use of cocoa butter in the manufacturing of beyond burgers helps the product in having a similar melting fat-like effect. And the addition of apple extract gives it a similar color change of red to brown when cooked!
Yet, those who were once particularly fond of beef and now miss the taste upon adopting the vegan life while still understanding the nuances in its taste think that beyond burger keto friendly patty has not truly recreated the exact taste of beef burgers.
There can't be a definitive answer to this debate as taste is subjective to preferences. It is best that you try it out for yourself and give a verdict about whether it tastes good or not.
A look into the manufacturers: What is Beyond Meat?
Beyond Burgers is just one of the many of Beyond Meat, a vegan meat company that operates out of the US. You can find its products all across the US in a variety of marts and eateries. The company aims to create sustainable protein without the need to cut the lives of animals short.
The company makes use of plant-based ingredients to create something that looks, feels, and tastes (somewhat) like a different type of meat, including chicken and beef.
Apart from beef-like burgers, Beyond Meat also offers products like sausages, meatballs, jerky, chicken, and ground beef. Don't let the names fool you! None of these items are made from animal protein. Instead, everything used plant-based solutions to offer a similar experience.
As a vegan, I find their products to be great for not getting FOMO while simultaneously having sustainable life choices. As for the taste, I can't speak for everyone, but I find them to be better than some of the other options out there.
What makes a food keto-friendly?
While I may have answered your question about beyond burgers being keto-friendly, the chances are that your brain is already thinking about your next favorite food and wondering if it is also on the “allowed” list.
I was the same once! Then, I learned a great way to filter my questions.
You see, when looking for keto-friendly snacks, rather than merely looking at nutrients and seeing if they satisfy the keto ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats, you need to look beyond and identify food based on ingredients as well.
This is because the nutritional description doesn't often tell the whole truth. For starters, it may say that a given item has fat in it. But, few make a point of telling the type of fat. In keto, no trans fat should be consumed.
Similarly, while the carb content may be well below 3 grams, if the carbs come from sources like maltodextrin, the food is keto unfriendly. Why? Well, such ingredients cause insulin spikes that cause ketosis to fail!
Ingredients to watch out for
Here are a few types of ingredients you need to stay away from. Each type has various technical names and forms. So, it is best to do a quick google search of all ingredients to see if they are classified under the mentioned types:
- Sugar and Syrups
- Starch, in the form of grain, flours, and thickeners
- Sugar replacements like natural extracts and artificial sweeteners
- Highly processed industrial fat and trans fat.
Oh, how challenging it is to live the sustainable way! It is worth the benefits to the planet, though. If you're a vegan, hope you have the answer to are beyond burgers keto-friendly!
Being a vegan in today's world is already hard enough without the keto diet. Don't get me wrong. We have progressed immensely in the cause, with various sustainable options springing up.
But, it is still an uphill battle. Doing keto, which requires you to eat a lot of protein, is like hiking multiple such hills at once!
So, cut yourself some slack. Even though Beyond Burgers do have slightly more carbs than preferred, they are still keto-friendly. Go ahead and enjoy it without any guilt.
I'll be on the lookout for other vegan snacks that I can eat on my diet. And when I find one, I will be sure to write about it to help my fellow vegans out! So, if you feel lost during your keto diet, you are welcome to come back here.
Till then, you got this!
Here's more information on the Keto friendliness of other foods: