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    Archive for the ‘Boca Burger’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Mock Meats

    From a nutritional standpoint, what do you think of fake meats like Tofurkey or Boca [soy-based] burgers?

    Seems like they are a kind of vegetarian junk food.

    — Christine (last name unknown)
    Via the blog

    Soy burgers, hot dogs, and turkeys can add protein to a meal while  keeping excess calories, and saturated fat at bay.

    Depending on my mood, I sometimes throw in some soy beef crumbles into my chili recipe for a burst of meaty texture.

    The main concern with these types of foods is that they are highly processed, and therefore contain quite a bit of sodium.

    Remember, the more processed a food, the higher its sodium content (one exception to this rule is smoked fish, which is not processed, but simply has a high amount of salt added on.)

    So, yes, it is fairly accurate to think of these foods as “vegetarian junk food” in the sense that they should not be daily staples, nor are they “healthy” simply by virtue of being vegetarian. There are far more nutritious choices out there.

    Granted, not all mock meat offerings are very high in sodium.

    One Boca Burger patty, for instance, contains 280 milligrams and just 70 calories.

    If you are enjoying it with some steamed broccoli and a baked potato, the entire meal should not surpass the 450 or 500 milligram mark.

    Other brands, however, can offer as much as 450 or 500 milligrams of sodium in just one patty.

    As always, be sure to check the label. You want to choose varieties offering no more than 300 milligrams of sodium.

    In the same way that an omnivore should not eat hamburgers on a daily basis, a similar principle can be applied to meatless alternatives.

    Enjoying them occasionally is fine, but the bulk of the diet should not come from the frozen foods section or from processed soy products.

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    Top of the Mocks

    A mere decade ago, faux meats were mostly a fringe food, sought after at small health food stores by vegetarians and vegans.

    Some tasted great, others were as appealing as dog food.

    I remember my first veggie hot dog, back in 1997, purchased at a speciality vegetarian supermarket. It reminded me of potpourri with salt.

    Over the past decade, vegetarianism (even if occasional) has been adopted by millions of people around the world, consequently resulting in a wider variety of much tastier faux-meat products available at conventional supermarkets.

    While they definitely fall into the “processed food” category and therefore should not be daily staples, they are okay to have once in a while.

    One of my absolute favorite products is the soy beef crumbles available from the folks over at Boca Burger and Morningstar Farms.

    I especially like to add some to my vegan chili.

    As I always like to say, you know a soy product is good when steak enthusiasts gobble it up, can’t believe that’s ground SOY beef they are eating, and ask for seconds!

    Now, let’s compare and contrast.

    Two ounces (two thirds of a cup) of Boca ground soy beef crumbles contribute:

    • 60 calories
    • 0 grams of saturated fat
    • 270 milligrams of sodium
    • 3 grams of fiber
    • 13 grams of protein

    The same amount of Morningstar farms soy crumbles adds up to:

    • 80 calories
    • 0 grams of saturated fat
    • 240 milligrams of sodium
    • 3 grams of fiber
    • 10 grams of protein
    • They are also fortified with half of the daily B12 requirement!

    If you were to use that same amount of 70 percent lean ground beef in a recipe, you would be adding:

    • 153 calories
    • 4 grams of saturated fat
    • 14.5 grams of protein

    This is not to say all your animal meat dishes should be replaced with vegetarian options.

    However, soy beef enables you to satiate your taste for red meat in a different way.

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