A Silicon Valley startup company have created what they call 'The Impossible Burger'. The Impossible Burger is 100% plant-based making it the perfect solution for vegetarians and vegans who miss eating their favourite foods. But what is it?
Who are Impossible Foods?
Founded by Patrick Brown, Impossible Foods is a Silicon Valley startup on a mission to make the global food system more sustainable. The fast-growing team includes scientists, engineers, chefs, farmers and foodies.
How did the company get started?
The company started in 2011 with the aim of answering the question “Why does meat taste like meat?” Brown and his team spent the next five years researching every aspect of the unique sensory experience of meat, from how it looks raw to how it sizzles. They then recreated the precise flavours, textures, aromas, and nutrition of ground beef using only plants. By understanding meat at the molecular level with the help of scientists and chefs, they managed to make a burger that truly tastes like meat yet is completely plant-based.
How does it work?
The Impossible Burger is made from simple ingredients found in nature, including wheat, coconut oil and potatoes. The secret ingredient, however, is heme. Heme contributes to the characteristic colour and taste of the meat, and it catalyses all the other flavours when meat is cooked. Heme is exceptionally abundant in animal muscle and it’s a basic building block of life in all organisms, including plants. Impossible Foods discovered how to take heme from plants and produce it using fermentation.
What's in the burger?
Water, Textured Wheat Protein, Coconut Oil, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Leghemoglobin (soy), Yeast Extract, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Konjac Gum, Xanthan Gum, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.
How is the impossible burger better for the planet?
It takes a lot of land, water, food, and time for cows to turn plants into meat. Compared to a burger made from cows, making an Impossible Burger uses about 1/20th of the land, one-quarter of the water, and produces 1/8th of the greenhouse gas emissions.
What's the nutrition information?
Unfortunately for us here in the UK, the Impossible Burger is currently only available in the US, however Impossible Foods say they hope to expand internationally in the future.
If you've been reaching for protein bars as part of a healthy diet in the hopes of boosting your protein intake and losing weight while building lean muscle, you may want to check out these 5 'healthy' protein bars which actually have more sugar and calories than a donut.
Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut Nutritional Information
We'll be comparing the 'healthy' protein bars to a classic: the Krispy Kreme glazed donut. If you're on a diet, trying to lose weight, or just trying live a healthy lifestyle, no way would you go near one of these. But shockingly, they contain fewer calories, carbs, sugar, and fat than a lot of the 'healthy' foods on our list.
We've created a handy table at the end of the article directly comparing the stats of the 'healthy' foods with the donut.
One Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut contains:
11g of fat
22g of carbohydrates
10g of sugar
3g of protein
Myprotein Baked Chocolate Cookie
Myprotein cites the key 'benefits' of eating this cookie being that it's high in protein, vegan-friendly, and baked using high quality ingredients. While 13g of protein is certainly high compared to a normal cookie, it still contains a lot of calories and sugar (much more than our Krispy Kreme donut).
You'd probably be better off eating a grilled chicken breast (or suitable vegan alternative) to get your protein hit and then enjoy a delicious donut, leaving you having consumed fewer calories and carbs than if you'd eaten one of these cookies.
One Myprotein Baked Chocolate Cookie contains:
8.6g of fat
38g of carbohydrates
16g of sugar
13g of protein
Multipower Power Pack Bar
The Multipower Power Pack bar is marketed as being a 'healthy snack' and claims to contain 27% high quality protein. While this may be true, it also contains as much sugar as a Krispy Kreme and less protein than 100g of quinoa.
One Multipower Power Pack Bar contains:
4.7g of fat
14g of carbohydrates
11g of sugar
11g of protein
Myprotein High Protein Flapjack
The Myprotein flapjack is a formidable snack, containing a huge 324 calories (as much as a small meal) and an impressive 20g of sugar (almost twice as much as the donut). Despite this, it still contains less protein than a standard chicken breast or protein shake.
Why not enjoy a normal snack like a bar of chocolate so that you don't feel like you're depriving yourself, which would contain fewer calories and less sugar than this flapjack, and then top up your protein intake through a natural source like eggs, steak, or quinoa.
One Myprotein High Protein Flapjack contains:
11g of fat
32g of carbohydrates
20g of sugar
20g of protein
Nutramino Protein Bar
The Nutramino Protein Bar is marketed as being a healthy on-the-go snack, boasting about its 20g of protein. However, it contains 4g more sugar than a donut and more than twice the fat found in a Mars bar.
One Nutramino Protein Bar contains:
14g of fat
22g of carbohydrates
15g of sugar
20g of protein
Science In Sport Protein Bar
Finally, we have the Science In Sport protein bar. SIS are world-renowned for their energy gels and are proud to fuel such athletes as Chris Froome and Olympic medallists. However, their protein bar contains almost twice as much sugar as a donut and is calorie-rich at 223 calories.
One Science In Sport Protein Bar Contains:
6.4g of fat
21g of carbohydrates
18g of sugar
20g of protein
Product Calories Fat Carbs Sugar Protein Krispy Kreme Donut 190 11g 22g 10g 3g Myprotein Cookie 289 8.6g 38g 16g 13g Multipower Bar 145 4.7g 14g 11g 11g Myprotein Flapjack 324 11g 32g 20g 20g Nutramino Bar 290 14g 22g 15g 20g Science In Sport Bar 223 6.4g 21g 18g 20g
The point we're trying to make here is that there are are lot of products out there that are being marketed to us as being 'healthy' when they really aren't. Nutrition and weight loss are difficult enough as it is without struggling to know what you should and shouldn't eat.
As always, check the labels on what you are eating and educate yourself on how much of each macronutrient (fat, carbs, protein) you should be eating each day, as well as how much fibre you need (hint: it's more than you think!) and limiting your sugar intake.
These days, sugar is added into everything and so limiting your intake can be difficult. Make informed choices and don't be tricked into eating something just because of the way it's sold to you. Natural foods will always be healthier than packaged foods, and if you want a treat from time to time then go ahead! You can still indulge without going too far over your daily caloric allowance.
Remember: weight loss is only possible if you maintain a caloric deficit, meaning you burn more calories than you consume. You only need a 500 calorie daily deficit to lose 1lb of fat every week. Eating one 190-calorie donut probably isn't going to bust your diet, but a 324-calorie 'healthy' flapjack might!