Consumers believe vegan fast food to be healthier despite nutritional value, survey shows

While fake-meat alternatives may feel like a guilt-free way to sate your fast-food cravings, some vegan options may seem healthier than they really are, according to dietetic experts quoted in a story for BBC News. The argument is that vegan substitutes often contain more processed ingredients, more calories, more sodium, and fewer bioavailable nutrients than animal protein.

Still, nearly half of people who participated in a new consumer survey of 1,000 Americans said they feel plant-based foods are generally healthier. The survey also found that, based on Nutrition Facts information alone, a fake-meat patty seemed healthier than a ground beef burger to most respondents. Interestingly, when ingredients were listed alongside the Nutrition Facts panel, the perceived health value of the plant-based burger went down. Guess terms like “methylcellulose” and “soy leghemoglobin” don’t yet have the same ring as “100 percent beef.”

Read more: BBC News and foodinsight.org.