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Beyond Meat vs. Ground Beef: Which is healthier?

This is a quick comparison between ground beef and Beyond Meat.

I’ll be comparing Beyond burgers to 80/20 ground beef in particular (the standard for burgers).

I’m not going to remark on taste because it’s a personal preference and I haven’t tasted beef in years.

Table of Contents

Beyond Meat vs. Ground Beef: Nutrients and Protein

Let’s look at the macros for each protein source for a 100-gram portion of each.

Beyond BurgerBeef Burger
Calories204246
Fat12.4 g15.9 g
Saturated Fat4.4 g6.1 g
Cholesterol0 mg90 mg
Carbohydrates6.2 g0 g
Fiber1.8 g0 g
Protein17.7 g24.0 

Top Differences between Beyond meat vs Ground beef

  • Ground Beef contains more calories per 100 grammes than Beyond Meat.
  • Beyond Burgers do not contain cholesterol, whereas beef does.
  • Beef has a somewhat higher protein content than Beyond Burgers, with protein accounting for 35% of calories in a Beyond Burger and 39% in a beef burger.
  • Beef has a slightly higher fat content than Beyond Meat (and saturated fat)
  • Beyond Burgers contain while beef does not contain any fibre or carbs.

Beef Burgers vs. Beyond Burgers: Nutrients

While I understand that most people do not eat burgers for health reasons, we may compare the vitamins and minerals in plant versus animal burgers.

Beyond Burger (% DV)Beef Burger (% DV)
RiboflavinN/A10%
Niacin26%28%
Vitamin B-613%18%
Vitamin B-1288%44%
Calcium7%3%
Iron18%14%
Potassium5.3%10%
Zinc35%40

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, there’s surprisingly little difference between Beyond Burgers and beef burgers. This shows that the plant-based burgers were created with a comparable nutritious profile in mind.

The vitamin B-12 is the only major difference. This isn’t surprising, given that vegans are one of Beyond Burgers’ most loyal consumers.

Beyond Burgers vs. Beef Burgers Ingredients Comparison

Meat burgers normally contain only beef (and sometimes some spice), but Beyond Burgers include the following ingredients:

Natural flavours, dried yeast, cocoa butter, methylcellulose, and less than 1% of numerous flavouring and vitamin components

Plant protein powders (pea and rice) are blended with oil and seasoning components to make Beyond Burgers.

Beyond Meat vs. Ground Beef Price comparison

In fast food places, the price of each burger is practically same. While cattle is still cheaper in most regions, plant-based meats are no longer that much more expensive.

Beyond Meat vs. Ground beef environmental impact

Beyond Meat has a substantially lower carbon footprint than beef, which is one of the most significant contrasts between these two protein sources.

As seen in the graph below, beef is the poorest protein source (even among all meats) in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (from OurWorldInData).

Our worLd in data

Beyond Meat, on the other hand, is made up primarily of rice and pea protein, both of which are low on the graph.

Summary: Beyond Meat vs Ground Beef

Let me attempt to summarise the major distinctions and similarities between the two protein sources:

  • Beef and Beyond Meat have similar protein and nutritional content.
  • Beef has higher saturated fat and cholesterol than Beyond meat.
  • Beyond Meat is higher in fibre and lower in protein.
  • Beef is less expensive than Beyond Meat, but the price difference is narrowing.
  • Beyond Meat has a significantly reduced carbon impact.
  • Beef is likely to be healthier than Beyond Meat.

If they tasted the same (which they don’t), it’s clear to me that Beyond Meat is the superior protein source of the two.

While plant-based meats will continue to gain appeal, a major percentage of the population will most likely never make the move.