- Beyond Meat, a company that makes plant-based meat substitutes, has seen a surge in sales and stock value in the past year.
- Dietitians break down Beyond Meat nutrition facts and explain the healthiest way to enjoy their products.
Beyond Meat is making headlines after the plant-based company reported that its first-quarter sales have tripled compared to last year. Stock in the company also surged, bringing up Beyond Meat’s value to $6.8 billion, according to NASDAQ.
You’ve probably heard of Beyond Meat at some point. Still, you might be a little fuzzy on the details. Here’s what you need to know about the company and its products, plus what nutritionists think about it.
What is Beyond Meat, exactly?
Beyond Meat is a company that makes plant-based meat substitutes. It was founded in 2009, and its products first became available in the U.S. in 2013. In May 2016, its plant-based burgers started being sold in meat aisles at grocery stores.
The company has gone so far to try to create a meat-eating experience for vegetarians that their burger patties actually “bleed.” Now, Beyond Meat offers up three main products: The Beyond Burger, Beyond Sausage, and Beyond Beef Crumbles. They’re also planning to release a plant-based version of ground beef later this year.
Each product is slightly different, but they’re generally made with a pea protein isolate and plant-based oils.
Beyond meat nutrition facts and ingreidents
Like “regular” burgers and sausages, these aren’t diet foods. Check out their nutrition information per serving:
Beyond Burger (1 patty)
Top ingredients: water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil
- Calories: 270
- Fat: 20 g (5 g sat)
- Carbs: 5 g
- Protein: 20 g
Beyond Sausage, Hot Italian (1 cooked link)
Top ingredients: water, pea protein isolate, refined coconut oil, sunflower oil
- Calories: 190
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbs: 5 g
- Protein: 16 g
Beyond Beef Crumbles, Feisty (1/2 cup)
Top ingredients: pea protein isolate, canola and sunflower oil, spice, rice flower, tomato powder
- Calories: 90
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbs: 3 g
- Protein: 13 g
Are Beyond Meat products healthy?
Overall, nutritionists are pretty on-board with this. “I appreciate that they’re a company that’s exploring new ways of making plant-based meat alternatives,” says New York-based registered dietitian Jessica Cording. “It’s a step in the right direction in terms of coming up with palatable new options.”
The fact that the company uses 100 percent natural ingredients, puts out non-GMO products, and has a unique flavor while still looking like meat are pros with Beth Warren, RDN, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl.
Cording also likes that Beyond Meat doesn’t use soy and soy lecithin-highly processed ingredients that are often used as fillers in other meat alternatives-and she says she actually recommends these products to her clients.
Warren points out that this is still a “highly processed” product. “However, as alternative to high fat beef once in a while, it would probably be a top choice amongst the others in its vegan class,” she says.
How do Beyond Meat products compare to typical meat products?
Cording cautions that Beyond Meat products have a health halo around them, and notes that you really should think of them like you would any other burger or sausage. “Consider it a swap for your favorite meat-based burger or sausage,” she says.
“In moderation the Beyond Meat products are fine,” agrees Gina Keatley, a CDN practicing in New York City. “Like an 80 percent lean meat, 20 percent fat burger patty, the nutrition is similar. But if you want a lower-calorie, lower-saturated fat option, a 90 percent/10 percent option exists at most grocery stores.”
Bottom line: Be mindful of your portion sizes and what you eat with it. “Too much of anything is too much,” Cording says. “But these can definitely be good options.”
Where to buy Beyond Meat products
You can find Beyond Meat products in select grocery stores, like Giant and Safeway, as well as fast food giants like TGI Fridays, Carl’s Jr., and A&W. You can also find them online at Amazon Prime Fresh, Target, and Kroger. Use their product locator to search near you here.
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