McPlant Takes Over Europe - Healthy Choice or Just Delicious?
Plant-based options have become all the rage in Europe, and even McDonald's has jumped on the bandwagon. Many may recall that there are virtually zero plant-based options available at McDonald's in the U.S. In the Netherlands, and throughout Europe, there are at least 5-6 plant-based sandwiches, salads, or snacks that fit the bill for vegetarians and/or vegans. But how does the McPlant size up to a McDonald's cheeseburger and is it a healthy option?
Rating the Taste of the McPlant
The McPlant is a 100% vegan Beyond Meat plant-based patty with vegan mayonaise, vegan cheese, and all the toppings of a regular burger (pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, onion). The McPlant is surely delicious, and is eaten by both meat-eaters and vegans/vegetarians alike. The patty has a mild flavor with a meaty texture and the ample sauce -- giving it both sweet, sour, and savory notes -- compliment the crunchy vegetables. It is a great option taste-wise for most, and may not be that different than your average cheeseburger.
Rating the Macros of the McPlant
Macronutrients, or "macros" are the building blocks or nutrients that make up the food we eat to fuel our bodies. There are three macros: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Coupled with the number of calories and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), macro counts can provide us with a good gauge of how nutritious and healthy our food actually is for our goals. The McPlant clocks in at 429 calories with 20 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, and 19 grams of protein. For most people interested in losing fat, the fat content of the McPlant is on the high-end, so it may be worth requesting no cheese and no mayonnaise to reduce the fat content. However, the protein content for most active people is fairly good (about equivalent to the average store-bought single-serve protein shake). To reduce carbs, you can eat the burger without the bun or remove sugary-items such as ketchup.
Overall, the McPlant is a decent option if you are on the go and need something with a good amount of protein and a reasonable amount of calories. Adding fries and other sides, as shown in the picture, is not a recipe for a meal that will promote fat loss, but if eaten occasinally and in the context of staying within one's macros overall and practicing an overall active and healthy lifestyle, a McPlant and fries every now and then won't derrail your fitness goals.