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Are veggie and soy patties safe for dieters?

Monday, July 09, 2012

Dear Donovan,

I enjoy eating soy patties and vegetable patties, but I would like to know if these are high in calories and if they are safe for someone on a diet to consume.

Patties, especially beef patties, have been a Jamaican staple for a long time. Many persons can attest to eating one or two beef patties with coco-bread for lunch while growing up. It is no wonder some took issue when tax was added to patties, which is one of our favourite foods.

In recent times, soy and vegetable patties have been presented as a healthier alternative to beef patties, however, research has shown that soy and vegetable patties may have the same amount of calories as beef patties. It would therefore be good if our mixed vegetable patties could be made from fresh vegetables instead of frozen, mixed vegetables.

Patties, in general, usually have a calorie range of about 315 to 345 calories each. It is not unusual for persons to eat two patties at one time which amounts to 630 to 690 calories, along with coco-bread which is about 242 calories, and sometimes cheese, which is 113 calories per slice. This is usually eaten with a soda, which is about 140 calories, or 12 ounces of orange juice, which is approximately 153 calories.

Calories from this meal would have therefore exceeded a normal cooked meal of say a serving of chicken breast with rice and peas, which is approximately 550 to about 600 calories.

When eating soy and vegetable patties, it is very important to examine the crust, because most of the calories are in the crust. It is better to eat a soy patty with a whole-wheat crust, compared to one with a flaky patty crust. This crust usually has all-purpose flour, margarine, shortening, and sometimes egg is used to brush the top of the patty.

In essence, patties do pack a fair amount of calories, and may also contribute a good amount of fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol to your diet.

When one is doing a weight- loss programme, it is very important to reduce your calorie intake and increase your calorie output over time.

If you are on a weight loss programme, it would be wise to watch your intake of soy and vegetable patties, as they may pack a fair amount of calories.

However, they can be incorporated into a weight-loss diet. Here are some tips on how to do so:

1. Eat one patty at a time, preferably for lunch, so that the calories can be burnt off by the end of the day.

2. Eat soy and vegetable patties with whole-wheat crust, instead of oily and flaky crust.

3. Avoid eating patties with coco bread and cheese.

4. Have patties with water, coconut water or a broth, instead of soda or orange juice.

5. Try and vary your meal, so that you are not eating patties every day.

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