Is Vegan Fast Food Healthy?
Veganism started as an awareness movement and managed to grow in popularity significantly. Today, millions of people around the world are proud to be vegans. They’ve come to realize that eating meat is an option rather than a necessity.
In the US, veganism is one of the fastest-growing trends. According to vegan statistics, the population of vegans is growing at a rate of 600%. Veganism is now so crucial for the American food industry that a lot of big companies are adapting their businesses to rising demands for vegan products.
Just like the rest of the world population, vegans like to grab a bite on the go. Not everyone is always in the mood for spending hours in the kitchen preparing dishes from scratch. That’s why a lot of fast-food chains now serve vegan food.
Last year, three major fast-food chains introduced vegan dishes. First, Burger King made the Impossible Whopper, which is similar to its famous burger but with plant-based ingredients. Then Dunkin’ and KFC also made some adjustments and introduced vegan meals.
Claims That Vegan Fast Food Isn’t Healthy
There’s a common understanding that fast food is actually junk food, which means it’s not healthy. Restaurants around the world have been providing meat-based options for years. This food is well known to be unhealthy and is one of the leading causes of many health problems.
When vegan fast food is in question, everyone is convinced it’s safe. At the end of January, BBC published an article that provoked many to argue about this subject. In it, the author William Park explains that just like any other fast food, vegan fast food is no different, and it poses a threat to human health. Not only does Park claim it’s unhealthy, but he thinks it’s worse than traditional fast food.
The author did a great job of explaining the meat-eater’s point of view and tried to find a reason why everyone must eat meat. Some of the points are backed by proof and make sense, like the amount of salt used in the KFC’s vegan burger, which is more than the amount of salt added to the meat. Another point is that vegan cheese is made from coconut milk, which is known to be full of saturated fat.
Vegans Strike Back
As we said, this article caused turmoil in the world of vegan-oriented blogs and chefs who are proud to cook vegan food. Many of them claim that most things written in the BBC article are not backed by scientific evidence.
In his article about vegan junk food, Clinton Stamatovich gives a simple yet straightforward explanation that junk food is junk food. No matter if it’s vegan or not—it’s not healthy. He then continues to explain that processed meats used in the fast-food industry are type 1 carcinogens, which means they cause cancer.
In other words, this one single point is just enough to disproof all claims that vegan fast food is more unhealthy than meat-based fast food.
Additionally, it’s clear that this BBC article will ultimately mislead people who want to live a healthier life or try to become vegans. The material is full of inaccurate information.
In many vegan dishes, tofu is the star ingredient that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, according to the BBC, omega-3 is more active in animal sources. Also, plant sources have a different type of omega-3, which is allegedly useless to humans. This last claim is particularly untrue since the human body is more than capable of getting enough omega-3 from plant sources.
It Still Doesn’t Mean Vegan Fast Food Is Healthy
As Stamatovich said, junk food is junk food, and you can be sure that ordering a vegan burger or a wrap containing vegan ingredients is not the healthiest of options out there.
This CNN article on the subject of vegan fast food gives a great insight into what a vegan diet should be like and what to avoid. The Veggie Grill’s Fala-Full sandwich, which is no longer on the restaurant’s menu, had 1,100 calories, 2,380 milligrams of sodium, and 10 grams of saturated fat. On the other hand, a Big Mac, one of the most popular fast food burgers in the world, has 540 calories, 950 milligrams of sodium, and 10 grams of saturated fat.
We’re not saying that the Fala-Fell is more unhealthy than the Big Mac since they are two different categories of food, but we definitely think that’s not the best option for you when you go hungry. It’s much better to prepare something that might take time, but it’ll be both delicious and healthy.