Veggie Junkies

The Lempert Report
September 16, 2022

Phil: Also there's a new report that came out of Medical News Today that says basically not all plant-based diets are equal. And now what we're seeing is a new trend, junk veggie foods, and how it's impacting health and by definition. And this is where they start ultra-processed foods or food products that contain minimal whole foods, high-end calories, added sugar, salt, and fats offer little nutritional value and have been processed with cheap industrial additives. And it looks like now a lot of those new plant-based foods are falling under that Ultrapro category. 

Sally: Yes, it makes me think of the kids recently wanted me to get broccoli tots or something. They were in the frozen food section, so we tried 'em, they were okay, but they weren't healthy. Even if they had broccoli in them. And I think that that a lot of shoppers may think that some of these products are healthy because they are vegetarian. They are energy bars, or it's a healthy-looking vegan cereal. But it isn't necessarily better for you. And we've gotta focus more on those fruits, those vegetables, the whole grains and eggs and plant protein. 

Phil: So two points. Number one is this report also shows that vegetarians and vegans have lower level of certain nutrients, including iron, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D and omega three fatty acids. So if you are gonna go vegan or vegetarian or just all plant-based, you've gotta be careful of that, number one. Number two, they found that veggie meat replacement products are high in sodium and saturated fats. And you've gotta read those ingredients because a lot of those ingredients are GMO as well. And what really drives me crazy is you're talking about the broccoli tots ,is that commercial for Velveeta, where the kids at the dining room table won't eat broccoli. So what does mom do? Mom covers it covers it with Velveeta and then all of a sudden the kids love it. They're smiling. They're happy. Okay. You're missing the point, mom. 

Phil: Also Kevin Hart, the comedian, just opened up a vegan fast food restaurant here in Los Angeles. It's called Hart House. It is vegan. However, while they do have plant-based alternatives for your favorite food meals, I wanna just get your impression Sally, on certain things. One product, the single burger, that's their signature product, 542 calories, 33 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 3 1/2 grams of sugar, 774 milligrams of sodium ,44 grams of carbs, 16 grams of protein, but it's vegan. So it must be healthy. What do you think? 

Sally: I love the idea of a vegan fast food restaurant. And I think that there are a lot of people that are gonna enjoy this trend if it continues across the country. But yes, we do have to recognize the fact that, looking at this single burger product right here, and this is with no cheese on it, that you could eat a McDonald's hamburger and might do better actually. This one exceeds the American Heart Association's recommendations for saturated fat and t doesn't appear healthy to me even if it is vegan. 

Phil: So it gets worse, their regular crispy chicken sandwich, which is made with pea protein instead of actually chicken, it's made, this is amazing to me, it's made with plant-based Mayo and pickles, pickles are plant based. They might not understand that. Here, 638 calories, 30 grams of fat, 4 1/2 grams of saturated fat, a whopping 1,510 milligrams of sodium, 67 grams of carbs. But it does have 25 grams of protein. It gets worse with their chocolate milkshake, 12 ounce chocolate milkshake, 478 calories. And I'm assuming that it doesn't have regular milk in it. It doesn't say that. They also offer strawberry and Oreo milkshakes, but this regular chocolate milkshake, 478 calories, 15 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 64 grams of sugar. 64 grams... My teeth would hurt, 247 milligrams of sodium. That's not so bad. 81 grams of carbs, five grams of protein. Kevin Hart go back to doing TV commercials and comedy. Get out of the food business. We don't want you. I'm not, I'm not going to Hart Home or whatever it's called.