I’ve been vegan for 14 years, and Field Roast sausages are probably the best-tasting “fake meat” I’ve ever had. I seriously love them. But how does this delicious “grain meat” stack up nutritionally? Is Field Roast actually healthy?
Field Roast is generally healthier than real meat, as it is low in saturated fat and high in plant protein. However, it is still processed food, containing quite a bit of refined vegetable oil and salt. Therefore, Field Roast is only moderately healthy, not completely.
Below, I’ll compare Field Roast sausages side-by-side with real sausage. (The results were pretty shocking, even to me!) I’ll also pick apart the ingredients list and nutrition facts labels of three different Field Roast products from top to bottom.
What Is Field Roast Made Of?
Let’s start by looking at some Field Roast ingredients. I’ve always known Field Roast as “wheat meat” or “grain meat.” But let’s look a bit closer at the full ingredients lists.
First, we’ll look at Field Roast sausages. This is my personal favorite flavor:
Field Roast Sausage (Smoked Apple & Sage) Ingredients: Filtered Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Unsulfured Dried Apples, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Yeast Extract (Yeast, Salt), Onion Powder, Barley Malt Extract, Garlic, Spices, Sea Salt, Yeast, Rubbed Sage, Natural Smoke Flavor.
Next, the ingredients for Field Roast burgers:
Field Roast Burgers (Chef’s Signature) Ingredients: Filtered Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Wheat Protein Isolate (Wheat Gluten, Trisodium Phosphate, Malic Acid, L-Cysteine), Organic Expeller Pressed Palm Fruit Oil, Barley, Garlic, Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Onions, Tomato Paste, Yeast Extract (Yeast, Natural Flavor, Salt), Onion Powder, Barley Malt Extract, Mushrooms, Sea Salt, Spices, Celery, Balsamic Vinegar, Black Pepper, Shitake Mushrooms, Porcini Mushroom Powder, Yellow Pea Flour, Cultured Cane Sugar, Vinegar.
And lastly, we have the Field Roast frankfurters:
Field Roast Frankfurters (Classic Smoked) Ingredients: Filtered Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Yeast Extract (Yeast, Salt, Sugar, Natural Flavor), Organic Expeller Pressed Palm Fruit Oil, Barley Malt Extract, Tomato Paste, Apple Cider Vinegar, Paprika Color, Spices, Sea Salt, Onions, Wheat Flour, Garlic, Natural Smoke Flavor, Celery Seed, Paprika Oleoresin (Color).
Now, here’s what I notice from these ingredient lists:
- Field Roast uses wheat protein. The first ingredient for all three (after water) is vital wheat gluten. The burgers also have wheat protein isolate. I consider this neutral. It’s processed, but it’s also high-protein. If you’re gluten-free or low FODMAP, you’ll need to avoid Field Roast due to wheat.
- Field Roast contains processed oils. All three products have expeller pressed safflower oil. And two of them have organic expeller pressed palm oil. I don’t really like this. Any refined oil comes with the negatives of processed oil—regardless of how they were expressed.
- Field Roast contains real vegetables. It’s pretty unique that Field Roast uses real apples, potatoes, mushrooms, celery, onions, and more in their flavor profiles. It may be why they taste so good. That said, it’s probably not enough veggies to add much healthiness.
- Field Roast is relatively low sugar. The burgers have “cultured cane sugar,” but only a tiny amount—it’s one of the last ingredients. All three have “barley malt extract,” but I’m not too worried about this. There are no artificial sweeteners, either.
- Field Roast is free of artificial colors. The frankfurters are colored naturally with paprika oleoresin. No junk like Red 40 or Yellow 5, which are shown to have behavioral effects on many children.
Verdict: Considering that it is a processed food, Field Roast contains pretty healthy ingredients, except for the refined oils.
Field Roast Nutrition Facts
Of course, the ingredients lists can only show us so much. It also matters how much of each ingredient is used. So let’s check the nutrition facts label to get a sense of that.
Below is a table with the nutrition facts from the same 3 Field Roast products I checked above—sausages, burgers, and frankfurters.
|–||Field Roast Sausages (Apple & Sage)||Field Roast Burgers (Chef’s Signature)||Field Roast Frankfurters (Classic Smoked)|
|Serving Size||1 sausage (92g)||1 patty (92g)||1 link (76g)|
Here are some of my takeaways from these nutrition facts:
- Field Roast is somewhat high in total fat from oil. Fat isn’t always unhealthy. But in these Field Roast products, we know the fat is mostly coming from oil—not whole foods. So the fats are processed, relatively empty calories. And roughly 32% to 47% of the calories from fat in these products.
- Field Roast is high in sodium. All three products are over 500mg of sodium per serving. That’s quite a lot, considering the AHA is moving toward an ideal limit of 1,500mg of sodium per day for most adults. You’ve got about 1/3 of your daily sodium in just 1 serving of Field Roast.
- Field Roast is low in saturated fat. The sausages are especially low in saturated fat (0.5g). But even the Field Roast burgers are much lower in saturated fat (4g) than real meat would be.
- Field Roast is high in plant protein. Each of these products have 20+ grams of protein, despite only being around 200 calories. That’s high protein density, on par with tofu. If you’re trying to eat a high-protein vegan diet, Field Roast products can help!
- Field Roast is cholesterol free. Dietary cholesterol may not have a huge influence on blood cholesterol, but there are still studies showing potential connections between dietary cholesterol and heart disease and cancer.
- Field Roast fiber content varies by product. The sausage has 0g fiber, but the frankfurters have 6g per link. That’s a big difference, which makes the frankfurters look a bit healthier to me.
Verdict: Field Roast products are high in plant protein and low in saturated fat. However, they’re also high in sodium and total fat from oil, while being devoid of fiber. This makes them a mixed bag, nutritionally.
Is Field Roast Healthier Than Real Sausage?
We looked at Field Roast nutrition by itself above… but what may matter most is how it compares to real meat. So let’s take a look at that now, with sausage specifically.
|–||Field Roast Plant-Based Sausage (Apple & Sage)||Johnsonville Flame-Grilled Italian Sausage [Real Meat]|
|Serving Size||1 sausage (92g)||1 link (79g)|
Here’s what I notice from this comparison:
- Field Roast has 1/16th of the saturated fat in real sausage. This is a big one. Saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol, adding to heart disease risk in the long term. Field Roast sausage is almost free of saturated fat. Not so with real sausage!
- Field Roast has double the protein of real sausage. This was surprising, even to me. Who would think vegan sausage would have double the protein? But Field Roast does.
- Field Roast is cholesterol free—real sausage is not. As mentioned above, there may be some health benefits of avoiding dietary cholesterol. Cholesterol only comes from animal fat—so the vegan sausages are cholesterol free.
- Field Roast has more sugar than real sausage. I’m not too concerned about the amount of sugar in either product, though. It’s not a crazy amount in either, just 4g per Field Roast sausage.
- Field Roast has similar sodium content as real sausage. Both are quite high in sodium.
- Field Roast has similar fiber content as real sausage. Both are devoid of fiber.
I was super interested to see that the Johnsonville sausage is mostly fat—not protein. If you want “lean protein,” it actually makes more sense to choose Field Roast.
Verdict: Field Roast sausage is considerably healthier than real sausage, especially in terms of saturated fat.
More Mock-Meat Nutrition Guides
If you liked this in-depth look at Field Roast nutrition, check out these other guides:
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