Plant-Based Burgers Vs. Veggie Burgers: What's The Difference?

As the focus on sustainable diets continues to grow, whether it's for humanitarian reasons, personal reasons, ecological reasons, moral reasons, or whatever else, the popularity of meat alternatives has grown with it. Notably labels like "veggie" and "plant-based" have been seeing considerable use on packaging in an attempt to lure in consumers in the name of goodwill, but what do these labels mean?

You've probably seen the plant-based label most prominently on burger patty packaging at your grocery store. According to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, plant-based just means that a protein from plants was used to make the patty and was constructed and formed to mimic the taste and texture of meat. Veggie burgers, on the other hand, are not meant to evoke meat products at all. It should be noted for those with dietary restrictions that neither classification automatically means that the burger patty is vegan or even vegetarian, for specification and to avoid consuming food you would rather not consume it is important to read the ingredients list carefully.

Health impacts of veggie and plant-based burgers

Veggie burgers are made from plant proteins like tofu, black beans, quinoa, soy, and other vegetable products, per Sara's Veggie Kitchen. It is usually safe to assume that there are no meat products in these patties, but they still might use animal products in some form or another to enhance flavor. According to Healthline, veggie burgers may also lack protein compared to their meat and plant-based counterparts, and they may contain much higher levels of sodium included to enhance flavor.

Plant-based burgers are looser and harder to define than veggie burgers. Plant-based diets as well as plant-based burgers are not so much about restricting the use of animal products, but rather choosing to favor more plant products instead, per Harvard Health Publishing. According to Healthline, this means that plant-based burgers are extremely varied and there are a whole host of choices with some plant-based burgers using animal products and some not, all with their own unique nutritional costs and benefits.