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The Impossible Burger has taken the food industry by storm with its promise of delivering a meatless burger that tastes and looks like real beef. As more people turn to plant-based alternatives for health and environmental reasons, it's essential to examine the ingredients and nutritional aspects of products like the Impossible Burger. I want to shine some light on this subject, so in this blog, we’ll delve into what the Impossible Burger is, its ingredients—including GMO content—its inflammatory components, and its potential impact on individuals with the APO E gene E2 and E4.
What is the Impossible Burger?
The Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger patty created by Impossible Foods. It gained widespread popularity for mimicking the taste, texture, and appearance of traditional beef burgers. It's marketed as a sustainable and ethical alternative to meat, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of meat production and animal agriculture.
Ingredients and GMO Content
The key ingredient in the Impossible Burger is soy leghemoglobin, which gives the patty its meaty flavor and appearance. This soy leghemoglobin is produced through a genetically modified yeast strain. While the Impossible Burger is often touted as GMO-free, it's crucial to clarify that the yeast used in its production is indeed genetically modified. Some argue that the GMO yeast is a more sustainable option than traditional soy farming, however, it is still a point of concern for those who prefer non-GMO foods. Why might it be a concern? We just don’t have all the information on GMO foods and how they can harm a person’s health.
In addition, the Impossible Burger contains other GMO ingredients, including genetically modified soy protein concentrate and genetically modified canola oil. Although GMOs have been deemed safe for consumption by regulatory bodies, some consumers prefer to avoid them due to concerns about potential long-term health effects and environmental impacts.
One significant concern surrounding the Impossible Burger is its inflammatory ingredients. While the burger is plant-based and avoids the cholesterol found in animal products, it does contain a variety of ingredients that can promote inflammation in the body. These include soy protein isolate, which is highly processed and can trigger an immune response in some individuals.
Furthermore, the burger contains methylcellulose, a thickening agent that can potentially cause digestive issues in some people. High levels of salt, saturated fat, artificial flavorings, and additives are also present, which can contribute to inflammation and negatively impact overall health when consumed in excess.
The Impossible Burger and the APO E Gene
The APO E gene is involved in the metabolism of fats and cholesterol in the body. Different variants of the APO E gene exist, with the APO E E4 variant being associated with an increased risk of heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. Some studies suggest that diets high in saturated fats and cholesterol may have a more significant negative impact on individuals with the APO E E4 gene variant.
Given that the Impossible Burger contains a good amount of saturated fats, mainly from coconut oil, and lacks cholesterol (which may be beneficial for some individuals), it may not be the best choice for those with the APO E E4 variant. People with this gene variant may benefit more from diets that are low in saturated fats and high in heart-healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
The Final Flip
The Impossible Burger offers an interesting alternative to traditional meat burgers for those seeking plant-based options. As with everything we eat, however, it's essential to be aware of its ingredients—including the GMO content and potential inflammatory components. While the burger may be suitable for some people, those with specific genetic predispositions, such as the APO E E4 or E2 gene variant, may need to consider alternative dietary choices. As with any food, focusing on your APO E Gene Diet, is the main key to maintaining good health. If you have any questions about your nutrition, schedule a consultation with either Pam McDonald, FNP or Jeannette Kotrys, RD, they can provide personalized guidance based on your individual needs and APO E gene and individual genetic risk factors.
I have included a delicious black bean veggie burger recipe for you to try and enjoy.
Umami-Infused Organic Black Bean Veggie Burger
- 16 oz. organic cooked black beans
- ½ cup organic rolled oats
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped Shiitake mushrooms, cooked (for umami flavor)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (for umami flavor)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fully cook black beans according to package instructions.
Place the cooked organic black beans in a large mixing bowl and use a fork or potato masher to partially mash beans, leaving some chunks for texture.
Prepare and cook the Shiitake mushrooms and onions.
- Clean the mushrooms.
- Finely chop mushrooms.
- Finely chop onions.
- Heat olive oil in a pan, add shitakes and onions. Sauté for 5 -6 minutes until tender and slightly browned.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Combine and mix ingredients.
Add rolled oats, sautéed onions and mushrooms, soy sauce (or tamari), smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to the mashed black beans.
Use a spatula or hands to thoroughly mix all the ingredients until well combined.
Divide the mixture into equal portions and shape into burger patties. You can typically make 4-6 patties, depending on your preferred size.
Heat a non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat and lightly grease it with a small amount of olive oil. Place the veggie burger patties onto the heated pan. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until they develop a golden-brown crust and are heated through.
Place your cooked Umami-Infused Organic Black Bean Veggie Burger on a whole-grain bun or wrap it in large lettuce leaves for a low-carb option. Add your favorite toppings and condiments, such as lettuce, tomato, avocado, onions, pickles, mustard, or vegan mayo.
Savor the rich umami flavors of your homemade organic veggie burger. Serve it alongside your preferred side dishes for a delicious, plant-based meal that's bursting with savory goodness.
This Umami-Infused Organic Black Bean Veggie Burger combines the earthy goodness of black beans with the savory depth of umami from soy sauce and shitake mushrooms. It's a delectable plant-based option for those looking to enjoy a satisfying burger while incorporating organic, umami-rich ingredients.