A doctor recently broke down the facts behind the compounds found in Burger King’s vegan Impossible Burger, discovering that it may not be a healthier option when it comes to caloric or protein intake, and it contains phytoestrogen, a plant based compound similar to estrogen.
Writing for TSLN.com, Dr. James Stangle explains the chemical process used to create Burger King’s Impossible Burger, and alludes to the possibility that the engineered vegetable burger may be less healthy than a regular Whopper.
Stangle starts by noting that the Impossible Burger clocks in at 630 calories “mostly from the added oils,” compared to the original Whopper’s 660.
“So, about 5% less calories, this is not a huge improvement,” wrote Stangle.
Stangle goes on to explain that the Impossible Burger’s protein, though seemingly only three grams lower than the regular Whopper, is not equal to animal protein:
The impossible whopper has 25 grams of protein. The whopper has 28 grams. Seems pretty equal, only 11% less protein in the impossible whopper. However, not all proteins are created equal. There are 20 amino acids. Nine of which are essential, meaning your body cannot make them so they are required in the diet. Each of those essential amino acids must meet a certain level to make a complete protein profile. If any essential amino acid does not hit the required amount, it is said to be rate limiting. As an analogy, picture nine chains connected in a line. All of the chains need to lift 100 pounds to carry the load. If one chain can only support 50 pounds, it doesn’t matter how much the others can support. The 50 pound chain is the rate limiting chain.
The doctor goes on to explain the process used to make the Impossible Burger have the look of meat, writing that the beef-like appearance of the vegetable-based burger is a product of genetic engineering.
According to Stangle, the red appearance of the vegetable patty comes from genetically splicing a soybean and yeast:
The bacterial enzyme that binds the nitrogen is damaged by the presence of oxygen so the bacterium makes the leghemoglobin to bind oxygen to keep it out of the way. To make enough leghemoglobin to add to the impossible whopper, scientists spliced the gene for leghemoglobin into yeast. They can grow the yeast easily and separate the leghemoglobin and add it to the impossible whopper. So the impossible whopper is technically a genetically modified organism (GMO).
CORRECTION: The Whopper contains ‘phytoestrogen’ also known as ‘dietary estrogen’ according to Wikipedia, not ‘estrogen.’
There is a report about excessive consumption of soy, because of the fact it contains phytoestrogen possibly causing gynecomastia. However, according to Health Feedback.Org:
Although there is a case report about excessive soy consumption causing a man to grow breasts (gynecomastia), this involved extreme quantities of soy that far exceeded dietary recommendations. Scientific evidence derived from thousands of people thus far does not indicate a link between soy-rich diets and gynecomastia.
The standard Whopper, of course, is “a ¼ lb* of savory flame-grilled beef topped with juicy tomatoes, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, ketchup, crunchy pickles, and sliced white onions on a soft sesame seed bun,” according to Burger King.
This article has been updated to reflect the differences between phytoestrogen and estrogen, the featured image is now the burger mentioned in the article and, now this piece reflects the claims of Facebook’s Fact Checker, HeatlhFeedback.
Health Feedback’s ‘Key Take Away’ in correcting the article was that: