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Beyond Burger vs. Impossible Burger: Nutrition, Vitamins & Minerals -- cooked plant-based burger on bun


Burgers can be compared in many ways (e.g., taste, fats, protein, environmental impact, GMOs, amount of processing, etc.), but, as far as vitamins and minerals go, the Impossible Burger is a better burger than the Beyond Burger because, as shown in the table below, it matches the many nutrients in a beef burger and goes beyond the Beyond Burger in of terms minerals -- and way beyond it in terms of vitamins because the Beyond Burger lists none.

The Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger contain somewhat similar amounts of several minerals: Both provide 25% of the Daily Value (DV) of iron — which is twice the amount in a beef burger, although the iron in meat is heme-bound, which may be better absorbed than the iron added to the meatless burgers; and both meatless burgers provide more calcium than the 18 mg in a regular burger: Beyond provides 104 mg and Impossible provides 170 mg. All the burgers provide some potassium.

Only the Impossible Burger matches a beef burger on zinc — each providing about half the daily requirement. Neither meatless burger provides the small amount of magnesium in a beef burger or the moderate amount of selenium. Both meatless burgers contain about four times the sodium that is in a beef burger — a concern for people watching their sodium intakes.

As to vitamins, Impossible Burger matches a beef burger in providing substantial amounts of niacin and vitamin B6. Impossible exceeds the 102% DV of vitamin B12 in a beef burger, providing 130% of the DV. Due to the difficulty some people have with extracting vitamin B12 from meat (a common problem among older people and those using acid-lowering medications), B12 may actually be better absorbed from the Impossible Burger than from a beef burger. Impossible Burger also provides more folate and riboflavin (30% of the DV of each) than a beef burger (just 2% and 5% of the DV, respectively), although only a beef burger provides choline (12% of the DV), which is particularly important for pregnant women.

A strange feature of the Impossible Burger is its very high amount of thiamin (2,350% of the DV) compared to none in the Beyond Burger and just 4% of the DV in a beef burger. The reason for such a high amount of thiamin is unclear as it is not just from natural ingredients but from thiamin listed as an added ingredient. Getting too large a dose of certain vitamins can be dangerous, but, fortunately, there is no established upper limit for thiamin, so this large amount of thiamin does not pose a safety issue.

Overall, the Impossible Burger provides as much or more of nearly every vitamin and mineral found in appreciable amounts in a beef burger, aside from choline and selenium. The Beyond Burger provides none of the vitamins, not even vitamin B12, which people on vegan diets need to get from fortified foods or supplements, as it is best obtained from meats, dairy, and eggs. The Beyond Burger does provide a good amount of iron, as does the Impossible Burger and, of course, a beef burger.

Keep in mind that none of burgers provides significant amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E, or K. You'll need to get those from other foods or, if needed, supplements.

If you want to find out your daily requirement of a vitamin or mineral, use the links in the first column of the table below which go to parts of our Recommended Daily Intakes and Limits table. From there you can also get to our reviews of supplements based on our laboratory tests of popular brands.

About Fats, Cholesterol, and Protein: [Added 9/20/2019]
Upon publishing this article, we received reader comments asking us to include information regarding fat and protein in the burgers and how leaner beef would compare, so we've added information to the comparison table and the discussion below.

For our original comparison, we chose to use a ground beef burger that was 84% lean, which is on the lean side for chuck and has the same amount of fat as a Beyond Burger (18 grams), although 4 grams more than an Impossible Burger. Leaner (and, typically, more expensive) beef will contain less fat and provide more protein (as discussed further below) but offers roughly the same amounts of vitamins and only slightly higher amounts of minerals.

The fat in a beef burger is about 50% saturated (the least healthy form). The fat in the Impossible Burger is about 57% saturated, although the total amount of saturated fat is only one gram more than in the beef burger. Fat in the Beyond Burger is only 33% saturated but, since it has more total fat than an Impossible Burger, this amounts to only two grams less of saturated fat than the Impossible Burger and one less than the beef burger. The saturated fats in the meatless burgers are due to coconut oil and, in the Beyond Burger, cocoa butter as well.

The meatless burgers provide a little less protein than the 21 grams in the beef burger: Beyond provides 19 grams and Impossible provides 20 grams. Of course, a burger made with leaner beef will provide more protein (a burger that is 95% lean contains 24 grams of protein, for example).

There is no cholesterol in either meatless burger, compared to 78 mg in the beef burger — about one-quarter of the maximum amount one should consume per day. Beef provides no fiber, compared to two to three grams of fiber in the meatless burgers. Impossible has an additional six grams of complex carbs and Beyond has one gram.

Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients in Beyond, Impossible, and Ground Beef Burgers
(Amount and % Daily Value per Patty -- 4 oz /113 g)
Beyond Burger
Impossible Burger
Beef Burger (84% Lean)
Thiamin 28.3 mg
0.047 mg
Riboflavin 0.4 mg
0.071 mg
Niacin 5.3 mg
5.162 mg
Pantothenic Acid 0.609 mg
Vitamin B6 0.4 mg
0.386 mg
Folate 115 mcg DFE
7 mcg DFE
Choline 68.1 mg
Vitamin B12 3 mcg
2.45 mcg
Copper 0.075 mg
Calcium 104 mg*
(8% DV)
170 mg
18 mg
Iron 4.5 mg*
(25% DV)
4.2 mg
2.33 mg
Magnesium 20 mg
Potassium 300 mg
610 mg
328 mg
Phosphorus 180 mg
191 mg
Selenium 17.7 mcg
Sodium 390 mg
75 mg
Zinc 5.5 mg
5 mg
Protein 20 g 19 g 21 g
Total Fat: 18 g 14 g 18
Saturated Fat 6 g 8 g 7 g**
Cholesterol: 0 mg 0 mg 78 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 3 g 9 g 0 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g 3 g 0 g
Sugars 0 g <1 g 0 g
All values based on uncooked patties. Cooking may affect levels.
DVs based on a 2,000 calorie diet, typically the highest amount required by adults who are not pregnant or lactating. Impossible Burger rounds vitamins and most minerals to nearest 5%. Percentages for ground beef burger are calculated from amounts listed in the USDA database.

* Amount calculated from Daily Value listed on label.
** Based on fatty acids, which comprise roughly 90% of weight of fats.

Sources (Accessed 9/17/2019):

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April 29, 2020

Someone commented on eating vegetables / fruits for (natural) nutrients, as opposed to any good with added nutrients. I’ve always read/been told that food based vitamins are generally better absorbed. Is this true? Hence, adding "points" to a grass fed burger choice?
April 29, 2020

Please see our CL Answer about getting nutrients from foods vs. supplements here

December 30, 2019

Is there not MSG in isolated soy and isolated pea proteins, to cover the intense plant flavor of the -isolated- proteins from these plants?
December 30, 2019

Hi Shawn - Yes, both plant-based burgers likely contain MSG because they contain ingredients such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, yeast exact, and in the case of the Impossible Burger, soy protein isolate. According to the FDA, MSG naturally occurs in these ingredients and therefore does not have to be listed on labels; added MSG, however, must be listed on product labels (see "How can I know if there is MSG in my food?" on the FDA's page about MSG

September 27, 2019

We enjoy the Beyond Burger. I prefer to eat pea protein rather than soy. Our meat consumption has been greatly reduced, and we still enjoy an occasional beef or turkey burger. My cholesterol has gone way down, so we will continue to eat less meat or smaller portions.

September 23, 2019

Why is there no mention that animal beef has hormones and antibiotics .This is another reason to switch to Impossible and Beyond Meat. Not to mention, these don't involve hurting animals either.

September 23, 2019

The soy content of the Impossible burger would have all of the pesticides present also. At least you could get organic grass fed beef....

September 22, 2019

Each of the very processed “Burgers” contain at least 14 ingredients. My 100% all grass fed burger has ONE Beef. Also each of the manufactured patties has more calories and carbohydrates then my 100% all natural beef buger !
September 22, 2019

Actually, the meatless burgers have about the same number of calories as an 84% lean beef burger -- about 240-250 Calories per patty. However, if you use leaner beef, you can reduce the calories, since you gain protein (4 Calories/gram) in place of fat (9 Calories/gram).

September 22, 2019

Perhaps I’ve missed it, but the sodium content disparity is significant. Both plant based burgers have way too much, especially for anyone with hypertension — 16%!

September 22, 2019

Maybe compare to a turkey burger? Lower carbon footprint and could probably be a good hamburger replacement for many people.

September 22, 2019

What is the amino acid breakdown? Or more to the point, are these balanced proteins in terms of essential amino acids?
September 23, 2019

Like beef, the predominant plant-based proteins in these burgers -- soy and pea protein --- are complete proteins, i.e., they have a good balance of all of the essential amino acids. For more about this see the comparison of protein sources in our protein powders review at

September 19, 2019

ill stick to my beef and turkey burgers...i put a lot of good stuff on them to make them healthy and delicious...lots off garlic, lot of fresh garden picked homemade tomato sauce, honey...i like sweet and sour taste...yummy

September 18, 2019

Fortunately, from what I've read, The Impossible Burger is made from GMO soy. Is that what we really want to be eating? Regardless of the amount of vitamins they have over the Beyond Burger, at least the Beyond Burger does not have GMOs. I'll get my vitamins elsewhere thanks.

September 19, 2019

I agree.

September 22, 2019

Whether you want to admit it or not, we (humans) have been eating gmo food since the first time plants and animals were bred to produce “desirable” offspring.

September 22, 2019

It is still Processed food which is what I stay away from.

September 30, 2019

You are confusing hybridization with genetically modified. Not even closely comparable.

September 18, 2019

Are there any thoughts on this statement from an article: Leghemoglobin in a burger is contentious for a couple of reasons. Leghemoglobin has never been consumed by humans before, and Impossible Foods did very little safety testing before including it in their burger.

September 18, 2019

So, whatever happened to the black bean based patties that used to be the meatless burger replacement of choice only a few years ago? I actually preferred those to what's available today, in terms of taste. (I don't really care how "meat-like" a burger replacement is in terms of taste/texture.) How would they compare in terms of nutrients, sodium, etc.?

September 22, 2019

I agree on black bean burgers! I love them and always chose them over beef if available. Morning Star makes a really tasty spicy one with simple ingredients.

November 18, 2019

I love black bean burgers, and eat them, but for people who really crave animal protein, they don't replace that, unfortunately. This new generation of meat-substitutes really does though.

September 18, 2019

In the summer of 2018, my 44 year old son ate an Impossible Burger, for the first and only time, at lunch in a restaurant in LA. As he was driving back to work, he began to have difficulty breathing. He called his wife who advised him to go to an urgent care facility. The urgent care called an ambulance whose medics began treating him immediately for anaphylatic shock while they transported him to a hospital. He had a severe allergic reaction and became very swollen. He had never had anaphylactic shock before. He was accustomed to eating soy burgers, but something in this GMO burger was different. The hospital treated him successfully and kept him for 24 hours. He now must carry an Epi-pen. He even has to be concerned about eating other foods that might have been cooked on the same grill as an Impossible Burger. If you have a child with allergies who eats an Impossible Burger, please be on the lookout for a reaction. Obviously, adults have to be aware of an allergic reaction also. This might be a rare occurrence, but a life-threatening reaction can occur when eating the Impossible Burger.

September 23, 2019

There could be other reasons for his reaction. Never heard of such a thing. Maybe the restaurant had something else come in contact with the burger during the prep or the cooking.

November 18, 2019

Sorry to hear about this, and glad he is ok now! Unfortunately, any food could theoretically cause an allergic reaction in someone out there.

September 18, 2019

Eating any of these three burgers in order to get your daily vitamin and minerals is absurd. I hope most people (especially ConsumerLab members) can make better choices for their micronutrient needs. These burgers should be enjoyed as a tasty treat only. Many people are choosing the plant-based burgers for environmental reasons (drastically lower carbon footprint vs. animal protein). Some people are choosing them for ethical reasons regarding animal welfare. Nutritionally? Well, if you really care about that, eat lots of fruits (start with berries) and vegetables (start with dark leafy greens and legumes) to crowd out any sugary, processed, and animal foods. Bad food should never be dressed up with enough vitamins and minerals to be considered part of anyone’s nutritional needs.

September 18, 2019

I agree, instead of eating a vegetable disguised as a burger just eat real vegetables that don’t come with all the mystery ingredients that are in a fake burger. Also, they need to lose the white bread bun.

September 18, 2019

I definitely agree with you 100%. The only reason I am eating the Beyond Burger is for ethical reasons and not so that I will get all my required vitamins. I have not had a burger in over 20 years but always loved the smell of a burger on the grill. It is just a treat that I can now enjoy one on the grill without the guilt of animal dying for me to enjoy one.

September 19, 2019

excellent point!

September 21, 2019


September 22, 2019

I agree.

September 23, 2019

This burger is for people who want the taste of a burger but want a healthier version that doesn't hurt animals or the environment!

September 18, 2019

For people like me, who struggle to control IBD symptoms, the Impossible Burger is literally impossible to digest. The Beyond Burger on the other hand, is mostly pea protein. I don’t know what it is about pea protein, but pea proteins shakes have sometimes been the only thing I *can* digest when I’m having a flare up. This might matter to “healthy” people, too: As I tell my husband, I’m the food canary in your coal mine.

June 2, 2021

I have read that soy and pea protein have lead and other heavy metals in them.
June 2, 2021

Heavy metal contamination can occur with plant-based protein powders, although significant amounts are more often due to other ingredients added to protein powder. We have also found arsenic in a cricket protein powder. See our Protein Powder Review for details.

Michael K18364
September 18, 2019

Studies on red meat generally fail to recognize the tremendously different nutrient profiles in 100% grass-fed beef and conventional corn/soy fattened beef that is produced unnaturally, with cattle that are force-fed "foods" that they are not genetically programmed to consume.

Cattle allowed to roam on pastures and their genetically- programmed natural foods and consume grass and legumes have about 65% as much total fat, 400% more vitamin E, more selenium, about five time more omega-3 fats, four times more selenium, fewer trans-fats, and more vitamin K2.

Consumerlab could do a great service and inform America about the superior nutrient profile of 100% grass-fed beef. We are already seeing fast-food burger shops that feature 100% grass-fed burgers in progressive communities, such as Los Angeles, and Portland.

The meatless burgers are really just more highly processed "natural" food that is in no way "natural." We can't put together numerous natural elements and call the end product "natural."

stuart chestnut18376
September 18, 2019

Well said

September 18, 2019


September 18, 2019

Ground bison is a great substitute for beef. It can be hard to find (Costco carries it) and it is relatively expense but well worth it.

September 18, 2019


September 22, 2019

Bison burgers are delicious and have a better beef flavor than other types of hamburger. I hope consumer lab does a study on the nutritional value of Bison!

September 22, 2019

Ground Bison is found in most supermarkets.

September 23, 2019

But do include that farmers are burning the Amazon rain forest down to generate grasslands where they can raise grass-fed beef. So hard not to be co-opted into doing harm!!

September 23, 2019

I see mention of bison meat as healthier alternative. Unfortunately the commonly available bison meat from High Plains and Great Plains suppliers to Costco and national grocery chains is grain fed! Totally defeats the point of eating bison. I have found a couple of mail order sources for grass fed bison. Costco did recently have frozen grass fed beef patties that were OK in terms of taste.

September 25, 2019

That's what I found out when I contacted the provider of the ground bison at Costco's a while ago. They are in feedlots and fattened up with grain before being sent to slaughter.

September 18, 2019

You'e said nothing about the genetically modified soy and yeast in the Impossible Burger. People have a right to know when they are eating GMOs

September 18, 2019

There is no evidence that GMO's will harm you. DNA is DNA, whatever its source, and your body cannot distinguish between sources of DNA.

September 18, 2019

Thank you!

September 18, 2019

Just to be clear, a big complaint about GMO is not that its DNA by itself is dangerous or spooky, but that farms and growers often choose GMO strains of things due to their resistance to herbicides, pesticides or resilience in poor soil etc., which gives them a better yield. Which... it doesn't take much work to realize means GMO products will have more of those exposures in their path to ending up on your plate, or will have a nutrient profile that is as rich as the soil it was grown in. It's hard debating this issue in internet comments, but it's important to a good discussion to at least represent the issue fairly.

September 18, 2019

True but DNA is not the same DNA if it has been altered. Nobody truly knows what effects the altered DNA will have because it is to new. People have a right to know and make there own decision.

September 19, 2019

Thanks Jeff!

September 18, 2019

Awhile back I read that the Impossible burger has high amounts of glyphosate in them, something else that should be considered in an overall comparison.
September 18, 2019

The group Moms Across America published a report in May 2019 showing glyphosate levels of 11.3 ng/g (ppb) in Impossible Burger and 1 ng/g in Beyond Burger. The amount in Impossible Burger is certainly much higher than that in the Beyond Burger but, to put these in perspective, they are far below the limit in California, above which a warning label is required. The California limit is 1,100 mcg per daily serving. A patty of each burger is 113 grams, which means that Impossible would contain 1,277 ng, or 1.3 mcg, of glyphosate, so one would need to consume 861 patties per day to reach the 1,100 mcg limit.

More information about glyphosate in foods and supplements is found here

September 18, 2019

I think this would be much more helpful if the figures weren't for the uncooked product. The average consumer isn't likely to know, or be able to determine, the effects of cooking on the numbers.
September 18, 2019

The published information for the patties is only available as uncooked. However, the USDA database shows both cooked (e.g., pan broiled) and raw information for ground beef and, although there is water loss and and fat loss with cooking, levels of protein and vitamins (which, in beef, are primarily not fat-soluble vitamins) do not decrease very much.

September 18, 2019

Consumer Lab: You said "although there is water loss with cooking, levels of nutrients, including vitamins, do not decrease very much." However, I did a crude experiment at home and found that if you consider fat (and the energy it contains) to be a nutrient, then it may lose quite a bit of that nutrient. I cooked a Beyond Burger and poured the liquid that remained in the pan into a test tube. It is a yellow liquid that appears to be entirely oil (fat), and no water settled out at the bottom, even after letting it sit for a long period of time. The weight of the oil was 11 grams after I subtracted out the weight of the test tube. The "Nutrition Facts" on the package say that a Beyond Burger contains 20 grams of fat and 270 calories. According to my crude experiment, 11 grams of fat were lost in the cooking process, and therefore after cooking, the Beyond Burger contained only about 9 grams of fat and about 170 calories instead of the 20 grams of fat and 270 calories shown on the label. I'm pretty certain that the liquid was oil and not water, because when I poured the yellow liquid onto water in another test tube, it floated on the top, confirming that it is oil. So it appears that there may be a fairly significant amount of fat and calories lost during cooking.
October 3, 2019

Thank you for your input, Larry. Yes, some fat will be lost with cooking, although none of the vitamins that occur in significant amounts in these burgers are fat-soluble, so there is little change in their amounts, as reported by the USDA. But we have clarified the sentence in our comment, above, about this point.

September 18, 2019

The Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger are both highly processed. I wish the CL review would have covered Amy's Burger, which is mentioned at the end of the helpful article in the Consumer Reports link that Tracey18343 cites immediately below this post:

"The Amy’s burger doesn’t try to taste like meat, but it does taste good: a big mushroom and nutty flavor with a crispy exterior and chewy grains. It's also healthier, with less sodium, fat, and calories, and fewer highly processed ingredients."

September 18, 2019

Thank you for this! The Amy’s Burger sounds ideal. I can’t believe I didn’t already know about it.

T Allen
September 18, 2019

Good to know info but not what I would base my choice of product on. Impossible Burger is mostly synthetic, chemical based lab product which is why it's s strange it doesn't match beef in it's vitamin/mineral composition. Beyond Burger is "real" food, plant based so people who eat plant based diets know the vitamin/mineral composition isn't the same as meat and compensate. There are LOTS of other articles out there comparing the different products but Consumer Reports has a good overall look at them.

susan 18352
September 18, 2019

I disagree. As a scientist, the way the Impossible Burger is put together is not chemicals, but plant derived meat burger components grown in yeast or extracted from plants. yeast is like the yeast you have in bread or beer. This is not a synthetic chemical at all.

I've met Pat Brown one or two times, and he's an interesting guy (he founded IB). He did it to save the planet- I'm serious. He had a great job at Stanford as a famous professor etc,. and he gave it up because he thought this was so important. He's done other socially-minded things in the science community, all in all, he's a good person.

Don't believe all the fake news on the internet, which I suspect is from a company competing with IB. IB is the real deal.

April 29, 2020

This. These precision-fermented burgers taste amazingly like meat, and are just the tip of what's possible.
There will be a place for regenerative agriculture (pastured animals) but it likely will be a local niche type farming.

Elaine L18342
September 18, 2019

My concern with meatless burgers is the amount of phytoestrogens present in the product. If you’ve had or have a hormonal related cancer (eg. breast, prostate) or if you have a genetic predisposition to one of those cancers, it seems that these burgers would be contraindicated for consumption. Of course, if an individual is eating hormone fed beef, it’s probably no different. Personally, being a RN with a maternal familial history of breast cancer, I avoid phytoestrogens and only eat organic animal proteins that have not been given added hormones.

susan 18353
September 18, 2019

It would be great to know what is in the veggie burgers, it's a good point. Of course, red meat is associated with cancer also, and also sugar. Breast cancers love glucose.

September 18, 2019

If you are afraid of soy products being dangerous for breast cancer survivors, that has been shown to be just the opposite. If you haven't done any Googling recently on soy and breast cancer, you may be surprised. is a good place to start.Either one of these "burgers" reviewed would be worse than a soy-based product.

September 22, 2019

I read Science Daily, which reports latest research findings, and from what I've read, I have to agree with Laura. In countries like Japan, where soy is a large part of the diet, breast cancer rates are much lower than in the U.S.A.. Elaine, do some research on the links between soy and breast cancer. For me, soy phytoestrogens are a problem for another reason. I have a type of epilepsy where I get a feeling of Deja Vu, all the sights, smells, sounds, feelings of a previous moment in time for me feel as if they are happening again. As my estrogen levels went down, so did the frequency of these episodes. If I have a serving of soy, glass of soy milk or cup of soy beans, I get an episode, so I don't eat soy.

September 18, 2019

One thing that is not discussed here is the amount of fat in both the Impossible and Beyond burgers. Both burgers have high levels of fat and sodium so they may not be a good alternative to meat from a nutritional stand point.

September 18, 2019

A plant based burger would still be a better alternative as it doesn't have the cancer causing compounds that animal products have in abundance. Even so these are not meant to be consumed regularly due to the high sodium or fat profile.

susan 18354
September 18, 2019

I've eaten both burgers and they taste much less fatty than a real burger. I like real burgers but I prefer the IB because it is a bit lighter. What makes you think it has more fat?
September 20, 2019

Hi Margo - We've added information about fat to the answer above. In short, the amounts of total fat and saturated fat are not very different across the burgers -- unless you use very lean beef for the burger, which is not normally the case.

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