When it comes to unhealthy eating, one of the first things that come to people’s minds are burgers. People who want to keep a healthy lifestyle tend to avoid burgers because they tend to have a very high amount of trans fat, calories, and additives that increase the risk of health problems such as cardiovascular problems and obesity. You’re probably thinking that there’s no way that burgers can be considered healthy, but that’s not always true.
Let’s face it, most people would like to eat burgers if they weren’t so unhealthy. But what if you have a juicy, meaty burger that’s also good for your body? It’s a win-win situation, and it’s completely possible. Looking for healthy burgers at food outlets and restaurants won’t always give you good results, but you can always make your own make your own healthy burger.
The Basics of a Healthy Burger
Knowing what makes your typical burgers bad for the body is the key to making a healthy burger recipe. Here are the four main reasons why health-conscious people would want to stay away from eating burgers.
- Additives – Fast food joints need to have burgers available on demand, so that means they have to stack lots of it in the freezer. To keep the burgers from spoiling, additives such as sodium phosphate are added to the meat. While the additives use for extending the burgers’ shelf life is considered safe by the FDA, those are still a bunch of chemicals you could do without.
- Calories – A typical burger meal served at a popular fast food joint can have as much as 1000 calories – way too much calories to take in considering you’re only eating a single meal. Add the calories from the soda and fries that accompany most burger meals and you have yourself a lot of excess calories that can cause weight problems later on.
- Fat – Eating food with high amounts of trans fat and unsaturated fat can greatly increase the chances of heart-related diseases and weight gain. Unfortunately, burgers are one of the fattiest foods that you can ever get your hands on.
- Sodium – Health experts have linked excessive sodium intake to heart and kidney-related problems such as high blood pressure and stroke. Fast food burgers have notoriously high sodium content, with some servings having several times more sodium than the daily recommended sodium intake.
Now that you know what to avoid, creating a healthy burger is just about knowing how to cut down or even completely eliminate these unhealthy factors. Coming up with your own healthy burger recipe will take some careful research so you can check out this list to help you get started.
- Use wheat bread instead of regular bread for hamburger buns. Wheat bread contains a high amount of fiber and helps cut down the overall calorie count for your recipe.
- One of the biggest reasons why fast food burgers tend to be excessive is because the servings are too large in the first place. Simply making the patties about 1-2cm thinner than usual can drastically reduce the amount of calories, fats, and sodium per serving.
- You can further lower the amount of fat and calories by using lean meat as the base ingredient for your recipe. A 3oz burger patty made with lean meat will only have 140 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat.
- Instead of using ketchup and mustard, try healthier alternatives such as guacamole, pepper, actual tomato slices, and onions. These add-ins still help define the taste
- Use healthy toppings. While most people prefer ketchup and mustard, you should try using healthier alternatives such as guacamole, pepper, and onions. These ingredients still taste good without having as much sodium and calories as your typical burger condiments.
Create Your Own Healthy Quarter Pounder Cheeseburger
Looking for a way to include healthy burgers in your diet plan? Check out this recipe and start making healthy, juicy burgers. This healthier version of the classic quarter-pounder cheeseburger is relatively easy to make, and it has almost 300 less calories than what you’d usually find at a fast food joint. Best of all, making the recipe is quick and easy, taking only a little over 40 minutes and maybe even less if you’re already familiar with it!
400g lean beef (minced or ground)
2 green onions, chopped
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tsp mustard
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
4 slices low-fat cheddar cheese
4 wheat bread rolls
1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
Creating the Patties
- Combine the minced meat, green onion, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, mustard, and worcestershire sauce in a large mixing bowl.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Divide evenly into four patties, about 2cm thick each.
- Cover the patties in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cooking the Patties
- Prepare the frying pan by setting it over medium heat.
- Coat the pan’s surface with a layer of cooking oil.
- Place the patties on the pan and let cook for 10 minutes. Make sure to turn the patties every 2 minutes.
- During the last 2 minutes, place a slice of cheese over each of the patties.
- Place a lid on the pan and let the patties cook until the cheese slices have melted.
Completing the Burger:
- Place the bread bases (the lower halves of the bread)
- Carefully top the bread base with the topping ingredients
- Place the patties on top of the pile and add the bread top (the upper half) to complete the burger.
- This recipe is good enough for 4 servings.
- If you want, you can use multi-grain bread instead of wheat bread.
- Alternatively, you can also use low-GI bread for the rolls and the bread crumb if you are serving the burgers to someone with diabetes.
- You can also mix things up by using other types of minced meat. Feel free to experiment with chicken, pork, lamb, and other types of meat you may fancy!
While the usual burger won’t be hitting the top of everybody’s health food charts, making your own healthy burger recipe should be more than enough to add some juicy meaty goodness into your personal diet.