Meatless Fast Food: A Whopper Of a Trend

Premier Health Now

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When Wendy’s restaurants famously asked, “Where’s the beef?”, who could have anticipated that a generation of hungry consumers would start asking where it isn’t?

Last month, Burger King began test marketing a vegetarian burger in a limited number of its franchises. The response was more than enough to convince them that they might be on to something big. The expanded launch of what the chain is calling “The Impossible Whopper” is being planned as consumers appear ready to embrace more plant-based dining options.

Premier Health Now spoke with clinical dietitian Kristi Nadler, MS, RDN, CSOWM, LD, of Premier Weight Loss Solutions to learn more about the potential impact these types of meatless burgers might have on a person’s health.

Navigating a Modified Landscape

Though Nadler certainly agrees that there are positive outcomes from choosing a diet with more plant-based foods, other factors can easily offset any potential health benefits in a fast food setting.

“We can all benefit from eating more plant-based foods, but the question is, if you’re going to a fast food restaurant and ordering fries and a soda, does the burger choice really matter?” says Nadler. “In addition, even though we’re consuming more of these types of products, do we really know how much healthier they are after they’re processed?” 

Nadler stresses that as consumer demand for plant-based foods has grown, so has the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods. She notes that their long-term impact upon our health may not be fully understood at this point.

“These are manufactured products, so understanding what goes into making them is what’s ultimately important,” says Nadler.

As more and more people begin to adopt more plant-based eating lifestyles, Nadler simply encourages people to consume foods that contain more high-quality proteins such as seeds, nuts, or richly colored vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.