In keeping up with one of the biggest trends in fast food right now, Tim Horton’s has introduced two new Beyond Meat plant-based burgers. The new burger contains 20g of plant-based protein, something the Canada Food Guide has urged Canadians to get more of in their diet. But is Tim Horton’s Beyond Meat burger healthier than your average beef patty? Maybe, maybe not.

In some ways, the Beyond Meat patty does win against beef when it comes to saturated fat and calories, but when compared with a regular beef patty, it was found to contain more sodium. That’s legitimately concerning for people who might be watching their intake.

Dietician Rose Schwartz told Global News, the Beyond Burger is what is considered an “ultra-processed food,” something she says people should avoid as much as possible. Dr. Frank Hu, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, conducted a study in which he found that there is not enough evidence to show that a Beyond Burger is conclusively healthier than regular beef.

Unlike a normal beef patty (which typically only has one ingredient: beef), the Beyond Meat burger is made from nearly 20 unique ingredients, including coconut oil, pea protein isolate, and even an apple extract to simulate browning, just like real meat.

The burgers also contain shelf stabilizers which, according to nutrition coach Jayne Williams, are “not the best.” The pea protein isolate can also be dangerous to people with nut allergies.

Despite some of the concerns about their product, Beyond Meat’s CEO Ethan Brown has stood by his product, claiming that comparisons to red meat are unfair as they do not take into consideration the numerous health risks associated with eating red meat regularly.

So is the plant-based patty better for you in the long run? The jury is still out, for the most part, however having one every once in a while instead of a regular burger may still be a better choice. Just don’t make a habit of eating either one too often.

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