Veganuary was huge this year, and lots of fast food chains decided to include a vegan option on their menu. This included McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC. We tried all of these vegan options over the course of several months, and we definitely found that KFC vegan burger to be the best of the bunch. Not only did it taste good, but we also love that they use Quorn because as regular readers of our blog will know, we're massive fans of Quorn. But there's one question that still lingers in the back of our minds every time we bite into one of these KFC vegan burgers - is this actually healthy?
We'll be looking closely at this burger to see if it's actually worth swapping your usual KFC chicken for the vegan option if you're trying to be healthy. Let's get into it:
What is the KFC burger made from?
The KFC vegan burger is made from a Quorn fillet, similar in taste and texture to the Quorn pieces that we're fans of. What we really like about the KFC vegan burger is that it isn't just a lump of tasteless mycoprotein - KFC describe it as an 'Original recipe Quorn fillet', by which they mean the fillet has been coated in their famous 11 Herbs and Spices recipe. It also comes with mayo which is totally vegan and also adds some nice flavour.
Ok, so how does it compare to a normal KFC burger?
As well all know, just because something is vegan doesn't mean it is healthy. The first thing to note about the KFC vegan burger is that in terms of calories, it's almost identical to a normal KFC burger. For example, the standard chicken burger from KFC contains 475 calories, and the vegan option contains just 25 calories less. So as you can see, it's almost identical.
For many vegans, an important part of their diet is ensuring that they consume enough protein (many vegans take supplements to support this). What we find impressive about the KFC burger is that it contains a healthy amount of protein with 18.7g in each fillet. Obviously compared to a fillet chicken burger it's not quite as high (the fillet burger contains 29.7g of protein) but as far as vegan options go, it's an impressive amount of protein.
Lastly, it's worth mentioning that although KFC vegan burgers might not be much healthier in many regards compared to the normal fillet KFC burger, the one category where it really excels is in the saturated fat content.
We mentioned previously that Quorn products are very low in saturated fat, and the KFC vegan burger is no different. Containing just 2 grams of saturated fat per burger, the normal fillet burger actually contains 2.3g.
Overall, we're really impressed with the nutritional contents of the KFC vegan burger, and although it is still ultimately a processed fast food item, it is certainly not much worse than a normal fillet burger from KFC.
So to summarise, it might be a stretch to describe the KFC vegan burger as healthy, but it certainly isn't worse than a normal burger (and in some regards is actually healthier). We also think it tastes great, so check it out!