Brands offer a meatless alternative as a nutritious and healthier option. New meatless products are on the market and they are designing them to taste like meat and are being marketed as vegetarian. Some newer products on the market have increased the protein content, close to what you will find in beef or poultry gram for gram. You can also find added vitamins and minerals found in animal protein like vitamin B and zinc.
The bad news:
Meatless burgers are heavily processed and high in saturated fat. Most meatless products go through an extensive process to create the texture and flavor you would get from real meat. For example, beyond meat products are made from yellow pea protein isolates which means the yellow pea itself is broken down through various processes and add other ingredients such as canola oils, rice protein, potato starch, and beet juice extract for color, there's over 20 ingredients in the beyond burger. Keep in mind when eating processed foods you are likely to consume more calories because you are eating "empty calories" not nutrient dense calories.
If you are ditching meat for health reasons, don't be fooled by the marketing and fake meat labels. Just because it is labeled vegetarian doesn't make it healthy. In general, make it a habit to read food labels and if the label has a laundry list of ingredients most likely it is heavily processed.
If you are a vegetarian you can choose to make your own healthy burgers, just like if you do eat meat, it's best to choose high quality meat to get the most benefit.
Although these meatless burgers may be the next "cool" thing to try, take a deeper dive into their nutrition to see a different story.