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A Guide to Low Fat and Veggie Burgers 
by Nancy Berkoff May 24, 2005

Serious Veggie Burger Research

Are all veggie burgers alike? There are so many on the market right now. You’ll probably want to do taste and cooking tests to decide which veggie burger best fits your needs.

Veggie burgers are generally lower in calories and fat than hamburgers . Extra lean ground beef gets more than half its calories from fat; most veggie burgers have less than 20% of calories from fat. Meat has no fiber; most veggie burgers have at least 3 or 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving. While veggie burgers have little or no cholesterol, a 3.5 ounce hamburger made with extra lean ground beef has 90 milligrams of cholesterol. Veggie burgers, especially those made with soy, contain generous amounts of protein and iron. Vitamin B-12 is added to some veggie burgers. The only negatives for veggie burgers are that most are higher in sodium than ground beef and may require additional fat while cooking to prevent sticking.

But How Do They Taste?

Some veggie burgers are made with soy protein or mushrooms and these burgers looked more like hamburgers. They often have a chewy texture, a brown color, and a grilled flavor. Some veggie burgers are based on combinations of beans, grains, or vegetables. These tend to look a little more “home-made” and may crumble easily. Some veggie burgers contain eggs, egg whites or cheese, so read the label for additional fat content.

You get the best results from veggie burgers when you follow the cooking directions on the box. Some veggie burgers can be baked or cooked, without fat, in nonstick pans. Others need to be fried in small amounts of oil. Become a label reader. Just because a veggie burger contains no meat or cheese does not mean it is low in fat or can be cooked without fat.

Remember that veggie burgers can be multipurpose ingredients. In addition to serving them as a hot sandwich, veggie burgers can be crumbled and be the “meat” in meat sauce and soups, formed into individual “ meat” loaves or used in chilies, sloppy joes and French dip sandwiches.

Low fat and veggie burgers are a popular, fun-to-eat menu item. So stoke up the grill and get the buns toasting!

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