Non-meat versions of hamburgers and hot dogs have become staples in many homes. While these vegetarian products are generally lower in fat and higher in fiber than their meat-based originals, you should read the nutrition labels and the ingredients lists to make sure you know what you're getting.

  • Most veggie burgers fall into one of two general categories: soy-based and grain-based. Soy-based patties typically have more protein than grain-based.
  • Vegans beware: some veggie patties and dogs do contain animal products, such as egg whites. Again, check the labels before buying.
  • If you're watching your dietary fat intake, the choice between veggie burgers (less than 20% of calories from fat) and beef burgers (more than 50% of calories from fat) is a no-brainer. However, some vegetarian brands do include trans fats.