Fast Food Vegetarian Isn’t Always Good For You

Fast Food Vegetarian

A plant-based diet is often associated with many health benefits such as reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarian fast food, which is plant-based, is more nutritious than similar foods. Fact is that it is not a food guide that you can fully trust.

Restaurants or fast food menus that say that their menus are vegetarian or vegan, that does not mean that they are healthy. Food can contain calories, saturated fat and sodium. This is quite reasonable. All food ingredients have calories, whether they are plants or not. Whereas fiber and protein can be found in higher amounts in certain vegetarian foods such as nuts, vegetables and whole grains. Likewise with saturated fat and sodium content, depending on how food is served (whether fried or baked).

Vegetarian food is fried and added with cheese or cream sauce is not a healthy menu choice. For example the Fala Full Vegie Grill Sandwich contains 1,100 calories, 10 grams of saturated fat and sodium worth 2,380 milligrams. This amount is twice that of calories, sodium and saturated fat food from Mc Donald.

While the "chickin" sandwich made by Veggie Grill made from soy, wheat, and bean-based protein only has calories of 530 calories, 900 milligrams of sodium and 3 grams of saturated fat. The menu can be very varied depending on the type and amount of ingredients used as well as sauce and deep frying which contribute additional calories, fat and sodium. Meanwhile, Amy Burger at Amy’s Drive Thru - a meat-free fast food restaurant - includes two vegan breads with cheese and sauce. This burger contains as much as 770 calories, 10 grams of saturated fat, 33 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber and 1,420 milligrams of sodium. Veggie Grill’s burgers have more saturated fat than Amy.

Big Mac McDonald actually has fewer calories and sodium than vegan burgers and has less saturated fat compared to Veggie Grill veggie burgers (10 grams).

However, both vegetarian burgers have more fiber and Amy has more protein than Mickey D's Big Mac which can make you feel full. Amy ingredients — aside from being meat-free — are also sourced from organic and local which are very important compared to nutritional figures.
Mondo Nachos from Veggie Grill contains 900 calories, 7 grams of saturated fat and 1600 milligrams of sodium. Nachos BellGrande Taco Bell with beef has fewer calories, 760, saturated fat 6 grams and less sodium, 1,290 grams. Grill does have more protein and fiber.

Not all beef tacos are the same. Del Taco's queso loaded nachos which has beef, contain 1,000 calories, saturated fat and 2,000 milligrams of sodium. Vegan version of Mac and cheese Amy Drive Thru and vegan Veggie Grill have less sodium, more fiber and less saturated fat than Panera even though Panera contains more protein.

Like other menu items, salad contributions are a requirement of the ingredients used so that it is difficult to make generalizations that are quite broad. All Hail Kale Salad from Veggie Grill and Amy’s Super Salad is great for nutrition but falafel-containing salads at the Veggie Grill have more calories, sodium and fat. So, regardless of the menu you ordered vegetarian or not, healthy food depends on the ingredients. Food labeled "vegetarian" or "vegan" does not guarantee that the food is nutritionally superior.

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