This article will cover the many customization options available for making burgers that are the healthiest. It will cover the healthiest ways to make burgers and some easy changes that can be done when ordering burgers from a restaurant, to make the burger healthier.
This will also cover which burgers have the least amount of fat, so that an individual will be able to make a nearly fat-free burger. Fat and grease is usually the main concern of most individuals when trying to eat a healthier burger. This is because some burgers can be really unhealthy and put way too much grease in a person’s diet. This will cover some of the meat options available that can be a better choice, along with bread, cheese, veggies, and other changes.
Healthy Burger Meat Options
Cooking your own burgers.
When cooking any of these meats on your own as burger patties for burgers, cooking the burger patty for longer periods of time will help to get the extra fats/grease out of the burger. It will possibly produce a dry burger if cooked for too longer, but it will no doubt make it healthier in these terms. It is a good cooking option that can be used with burger patties that contain higher ratios of fat than desired. This is helpful if an individual is stuck with being able to cook burger patties that aren’t so lean.
Of course, one of the most common meats for making burgers is beef. There are other choices out there that can be used, depending on the person’s preferences, but beef in itself can also be made a lot healthier. One common choice available for ground beef is to simple go with a leaner beef. Doing this will reduce the fats and increase the protein. The options available commonly at grocery stores are:
- 80% lean to 20% fat.
- 85% lean to 15% fat.
- 90% lean (or more) to 10% fat (or less).
All of these options are found commonly at most grocery stores for purchase near you. They can come in the common chuck selection (the most common for making beef burgers), sirloin, and round. Chuck ground beef is usually more fatty and usually is only found in grocery stores with as little as around 15% fat to 85% lean. Sirloin and round ground beef are considered to be the healthiest choices in the terms of how lean they are. They are naturally leaner areas of the animal with less fat overall.
Of these two choices, the sirloin selection would be the best choice, as it would be overall more tender than round section of the animal. Both of these types of ground beef can be 90% or higher lean, and 10% or less fat. Burgers can and are made from the rib section too. However, the rib section is not as lean as chuck, sirloin, or round. It has a lot of fat; therefore it will produce a greasy burger if enough ground rib meat is used.
Also, some ground meats can exceed past the common 20% or less fat ratio and have 30% or more fat in ratio to how lean it is.
Venison is considered to be one of the leanest meats available for making the leanest burgers. The main thing about venison that makes it one of the healthiest options, is the amount of meat in comparison to the bad fats and nutrients for its portion. It has more of the good stuff (protein and nutrients) to the proportion of bad stuff when compared to other types of ground meat. Burgers made from bison meat are also healthier options for making lean burgers.
Healthy sauces and hydrated vegetables can help to offset some dryness in the burger patty if it does dry out after cooking it. It won’t change the burger patty itself, but it will help with the overall moisture when taking a bite of the burger after it is made.
Other beef burger meat options.
Ground beef can be made from a combination of chuck, rib, sirloin, and other parts of the animal, even though chuck-only is the most common. This is important to know, to help the reader understand that many changes can be made with the burger meat alone, regardless of the type of animal, which can effect how healthy a burger is in the terms of how greasy or fatty it is.
Burgers can even be made from brisket only. Some individuals do make ground meat for burgers by solely using chuck, brisket, or some other parts of the animal. Round, chuck, and sirloin, for example, can also be mixed with fatter portions of the animal to make the ground meat more or less healthier. Burgers are also not just made exclusively to the sections that are mentioned. Almost any part of the animal that is meat can be/has been made into burgers.
Which Type Of Commonly Used Ground Meat Is The Healthiest?
The most commonly found ground meats in grocery stores are the beef, turkey, and pork. Of these options, turkey is considered to be the healthiest choice.
Turkey is generally naturally leaner than beef in general. Turkey doesn’t have the full flavor like beef does, but it is healthier in general. Finding ground turkey with more than 15% fat can be quite difficult depending on location. The commonly bought 80% lean to 20% fat ratio for ground beef in stores is what people can expect to find for ground turkey, which would be commonly 85% lean to 15% fat ratio instead.
Because the turkey is naturally a leaner animal than the cow, it becomes a naturally leaner and healthier choice for burger meat options.
Despite turkey being the leanest of the most common, there are still some benefits to selecting beef over turkey. Fat isn’t always a bad thing. It depends on the type of fat in the meat; which leads to the next important discussion when selecting a healthy option for burgers for meat selection.
Fattier meats, like some parts of beef, can still be considered healthier choices, depending on an individual’s dieting goals. There are bad fats and good fats: saturated and not saturated. Fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in the fat of the meat. These fatty acids are extremely important for the body; therefore they are extremely healthy. The body cannot live without them.
Generally, beef, lamb, and other red meats are the healthiest options for obtaining these healthy fats for consuming burgers. Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body on its own, so they are necessary for an individual’s diet. Diets that already have the least amount of fat possible, can find it more beneficial to have a beef, lamb, or mutton burger instead.
Of course, for individuals seeking leaner burger options, regardless of healthy fats or bad fat ratios, venison or bison for red meats is still better. However, venison is not recommended for diets that are looking for these omega-3 fatty acids that are found only in the fats. This is because venison is very lean. The same thing goes for other lean meats that may be made from other sections of the animal, like sirloin and round.
Pork and turkey when seeking out more of these healthy fats in burgers as an option, is not a healthy choice in these terms in comparison. Redder meats are the way to go. All ground meats will have some level of saturated fats (the fats that can clog arteries). However, red meats for burgers have the healthiest fats for getting these omega-3 fatty acids that the body needs.
Wagyu burgers, despite having higher fat levels in the meat, can actually be one of the healthiest choices for individuals seeking the most healthy fats in their diet from burgers. Contrary to popular belief held by some individuals, fatty foods will make a person feel fuller for longer. Fats take the body a long time to digest. These higher in fat foods that are filled with healthier fats can help an individual lose weight instead of gaining weight (considering that they are counting their calories) with the longer digestion times.
For meat selection for burgers and burgers, the goal of an individual should be to find the ground meat that fits their diet that isn’t loaded with saturated fats. For some individuals, depending on their diets, the leanest burgers with the least amount of fat may not be the best for their overall health. The brain is made up of a lot of fat, and it is one organ of many (heart, lungs, liver, eyes) that needs them.
To help an individual distinguish the best selection of meats to use for burgers, they should look for meats that have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with the least amount of saturated fats. Taking fats entirely out of a diet is not optimal for health or survival in general.
Healthy Burger Bun Options
Coating a burger bun with butter before toasting it is not a good idea if an individual is trying to make the healthiest burger possible. Butter can contain a lot of saturated fats for its portion. One tablespoon of butter can have 7 grams of saturated fat. Reducing the amount of butter that a burger has in general, is the better way to making a healthier burger.
Wheat burger buns and whole grain burger buns are some of the healthiest choices available for burgers. Whole grain generally has 4% calcium, 5% iron, 5% vitamin b6, and 8% magnesium. All of these are good vitamins and minerals for the body. Calcium is good for the bones, iron is good for the blood, vitamin b6 is good for the immune system, and magnesium is good for blood sugar levels among other things.
Whole grain also has dietary fiber to help the body with digestion, and more protein to add to the protein that the meat in burgers would already give. Whole wheat is a great source for adding in more of the much needed healthy fats that the body needs. It has monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that are extremely healthy.
If an individual wants to keep their burger as lean as possible while still adding on some healthy fats, these burger bun options are a great way to go. Sesame seeded buns are also good choices. Sesame seeds have magnesium and calcium.
Healthy Sauce Options
Making your own sauces is the best way to go when selecting healthy sauce options for burgers. The general rule for making sauces is to use water or other liquid ingredients to help with smoothness, and have a thickener so that the sauce doesn’t come out to runny when making it. These ingredients are placed in a blender to blend with other ingredients, for making the sauces.
It is not recommended to go heavy on the common sauces that would usually come with most tasty burgers. These sauces are usually packed with more sugars and sodium, which can be detrimental to a person’s diet. The basic ketchup, bbq, mayo, and other sauces commonly bought and used can have extra saturated fats, sugar, cholesterol and/or sodium.
Of the common sauces used on burgers, if an individual loves worcestershire sauce or mustard, then they would be the healthiest choices, as they contain the least amount of sugars and saturated fats in comparison to the others. Worcestershire sauce has 13 calories per tablespoon. Thousand island dressing is also okay, but it does have sugars and sodium too in moderate amounts per tablespoon. It is still a better option than ketchup and bbq sauce in general. It is a little higher on the calories though.
There are thousands of sauces out there to choose from when they are made in combination with additional ingredients, but generally, a person should be looking for sauces that contain less of the bad things that are mentioned in excess. It is still best to consume burgers in general that have sauces, with less sauce than the usual to make them more healthy. This is the general idea when ordering burgers from restaurants.
When making sauces, guacamole (made from avocados) is a good choice. It contains loads of nutrients, minimum saturated fats, and a lot of healthy fats. It is very high in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (the healthy fats that the brain and organs need).
Sauces can also be blended with avocados as a thickener and custom made with natural herbs and spices of the individual’s choice for more flavor and health benefits.
Healthy Burger Vegetable Options
Fried onion rings (deep fried with the flour) should be avoided as a healthy option for burgers. They are not considered as healthy. However, onions and tomatoes are great common additions added to burgers that do add nutritional value.
Onions have potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin b6, vitamin C, and even some protein. Tomatoes have potassium, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They also have some protein (essential amino acids for muscle building).
Of course, an individual can also add other healthy fruits and vegetables to their burger that are outside of the common to make the burger even healthier than the common burger. These options can include, spinach, kale, basil, green peppers, mushrooms, and avocados to name a few good ones. All of these are great as long as they are not fried in cooking oils. Frying them or cooking them is fine, just not with butter, a lot of salt, or oils. Fresh, uncooked vegetables are better.
The common iceberg lettuce used for most burgers adds little to no nutritional value at all to the burger. It provides traces of sodium, potassium, dietary fiber, and protein. It can be replaced with kale or spinach as a better option, or simply left out of the burger for real no loss or gain. Both kale and spinach provide great nutrients, with kale being the better overall choice for the common diet.
Burger Cheese Options
In general, cheese isn’t the healthiest choice for a burger. Though they add flavor to a cheeseburger, they are best left off or out of it. All cheeses that are commonly used for burgers contain extra saturated fats. Cheese contains quite a bit of saturated fats and salt in just one slice. This can range from 3 grams per slice to 9 grams more more of saturated fats. However, blue cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and ricotta are some of the healthiest choices.
Cottage cheese is great, especially when it is low fat. Cheese in general is better and healthier before it ages (becomes more solid and dense). This means that American cheese is not a good healthy option for burgers, even though it is one of the most common. When the cheese ages and becomes more dense, is when the cheese becomes for saturated with saturated fats.
Leaving the extra cheese out of the burger when ordering from a restaurant is a good idea, to possibly reduce the risk of clogged arteries and heart risks in the long run. Burgers packed with cheese should be avoided.