Exploring the true benefits of veggie burgers is recommended if you really care about your health.

I'm not a fan of dining at fast food restaurants as I try to avoid greasy foods and beef. Despite the fast food chains' efforts to provide healthy options with salads I am rarely satisfied with my choices, especially when the salad is mostly composed of iceberg lettuce and prepackaged salad dressing.

Recently several fast food restaurants have been offering veggie burgers.  I often go with this option to avoid beef but still get an adequate amount of protein. However, I was curious if veggie burgers really are a healthy option so I did a little research.

Many people eat veggie burgers in an effort to cut saturated fat. Most veggie burgers contain from zero to 1 gram of saturated fat. Pretty impressive when compared to a regular-size hamburger, which contains 4-7 grams of saturated fat. The recommended daily limit of saturated fat is 15-25 grams.

However, I also learned veggie burgers made with soy may contain little soy protein. The name "veggie burger" tends to suggest they are made of vegetables and, if they are, the amount of processing the ingredients are exposed to tends to eliminate many of the essential nutrients. And some veggie burgers aren't even made with vegetables but consist of processed soy. You can say goodbye to the protein if processed soy is involved!

I also learned in addition to being highly processed, veggie burgers can have excessives amounts of sodium with some patties weighing in with over 400 milligrams of sodium per patty. That's not good news for those of us that are trying to avoid high blood pressure. Veggie burgers are also often held together with butter or oil. And wait, it gets worse! It has been reported some veggie burgers contain hexane, which is a compound is known to be harmful to humans. It's a by-product of gasoline refining and is used to separate whole soybeans into soy oil, protein and fiber.

Yikes! I'm thinking it's time to get into the kitchen and make my own veggie burgers.