If you had the option to grab a burger from a vegetarian, organic, and gluten-free drive-thru over McDonald’s Big Mac calories, would you? Most healthy foodies would pounce on that opportunity, but the debut of America’s first-ever vegetarian fast food chain has us thinking otherwise.
Amy’s Drive Thru, a soon-to-be expanding meatless fast food joint in San Francisco prides itself for offering non-GMO, dairy-free, and vegan meals, but its signature sandwich isn’t as healthy as it seems.
“The Amy” burger piles two veggie patties, two slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles smothered in secret sauce between two hearty buns.
Despite its diet-friendly-sounding “vegetarian” and “organic” descriptors, this veggie burger will cost you a button-busting 770 calories, 40 grams of fat, and 1,420 milligrams of sodium, according to the restaurant’s representative. With numbers like those, we were curious—exactly how does this meatless burger stack up to the infamous Big Mac? Read on to find out what we discovered.
Amy’s Vs. McDonald’s
Amy’s Drive Thru Classic Veggie Burger
770 calories, 40 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 1,420 mg sodium, 70 g carbs (9 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 33 g protein
McDonald’s Big Mac
540 calories, 28 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 950 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 25 g protein
Although Amy’s Drive Thru’s burger boasts significantly higher macros across the board, the restaurant stated that its goal is to ensure everyone “gets a great meal suited to their needs.” That’s great news if you’re a vegetarian, but not so good if you’re watching your caloric intake. If you choose the meatless burger over the Big Mac, you’ll be ingesting 230 more calories, 12 more grams of fat, 470 extra milligrams of sodium, and a whopping 10 more grams of sugar!
The good news? You’ll at least be getting an extra 6 grams of belly-filling fiber and 8 grams of metabolism-stoking protein.
The takeaway here is simple: “Healthy” foods that are organic, non-GMO, and vegetarian are not necessarily the best options for weight loss. It’s important to be wary of the seductive phrases food brands use to trick you into thinking a food is healthier than it is and to do your research on calorie counts if you’re watching your weight.
Our ultimate verdict? If you’re in the San Fran area on Meatless Monday, feel free to opt for the burger and split it with a pal—just don’t make it a regular meal. As for eating veggie burgers at home, choose wisely with the help of our exclusive report on the 32 Best And Worst Veggie Burgers.
Lead image courtesy of Instagram/@amysdrivethru