5 On Your Side

Flavorless no more: Veggie burgers vindicated as popularity soars

Posted July 14

Experts say not eating meat once a week could reduce the risk of some diseases.

One option for your meat-free days is the veggie burger—25 percent of Americans say they have veggie burgers more than once a month.

Consumer Reports says flavorless, rubbery veggie burgers are a thing of the past. They're so popular right now that Wendy’s is testing a black-bean burger and White Castle has a veggie slider on the menu.

Consumer Reports tested 17 different veggie patties with some surprising finds: like the fact that not all are low in calories.

Lightlife Smart Patties have 100 calories each, but Sunshine Burgers have 360.

Testers say plenty are nutritional and tasty. If you like your veggie burgers to mimic meat, though, the MorningStar Farms Grillers Original are closest with 130 calories.

Boca All American Flame Grilled burgers actually do taste grilled and a little cheesy, and they pack 120 calories. Each burger has 15 grams of protein.

There's also an option if you prefer the taste of grains, seeds and veggies: Amy’s California Light-in-Sodium burgers have just 110 calories. They are equally tasty but have half as much sodium as their regular version.

All in all, you’ve got plenty of good choices if you’re looking to drop the traditional beef burger.

Consumer Reports didn’t factor protein into its nutrition ratings because most Americans get plenty already. But vegetarians might be surprised to find that some of the veggie burgers, like Amy's, contained as little as four or five grams of protein.

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