Burgers are the most popular fast food worldwide. They are affordable and delicious. Loaded with layers of cheese and meat, the burger is the king of fast food. However, some people do not consider a burger to be a healthy dish, because it is mainly associated with fast food.
Well, fatty meat, lots of cheese, sugary ketchup and refined grain buns – it definitely doesn’t seem health but, burgers don’t always have to be loaded with cheese and meats. It’s not the burger that’s unhealthy; it’s an overuse of some ingredients that makes it unhealthy and you can change this.
Research shows meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Even cheese has the right nutrients like calcium and protein. So why do people think burgers are unhealthy? Is it the bun, toppings, or size of the patty? It’s all about using the right ingredients in the right proportions.
Burgers are generally considered a cheat meal, but with a few tips, you can make a homemade burger that is healthy and delicious.
1. Use high-quality cheese
Cheese is the soul of a burger so have to make sure you buy the best cheese for burgers which has the highest quality. Usually, we choose cheese based on flavour and how well it melts, but what about the healthier cheeses for a burger?
You can always go with American cheese but if you want to go for non-processed cheese, use natural cheddar slices of Swiss cheese slices. To give you a rough idea on how much calories and fat you consume per ounce of cheese, here you go:
- American cheese: 106 calories, 9 grams fat
- Cheddar cheese: 114 calories, 9 grams fat
- Swiss cheese: 95 calories, 7 grams fat
Pre-cut cheese slices are often less than an ounce, and you can save more calories by using smaller portions.
2. Low Calories Buns
Do you know an average hamburger bun contains 236 calories? There is always the option of eating a burger without a bun. However, a burger without a bun isn’t what we want.
There are many healthy alternatives to it; two slices of low-carb cloud bread that only contain 94 calories or use whole-wheat English muffins, which can save you up to 121 calories compared to a regular hamburger bun.
You can go with healthier options like using mushroom caps, veggies like eggplant or sweet potato (cutting them in the shape of a bun), or lettuce leaves.
3. Try to include as many veggies as you can
Extra veggies are always welcome to make any dish healthier. If you want to make your burger healthy use as many veggies as possible.
Top the burger with fresh or grilled veggies, such as tomato, onion, peppers, greens, mushrooms or any of your favourite veggies.
4. Choose healthier sides
A burger without a side is incomplete, and to be more precise fries makes the burger complete. For most people, burgers without fries are hard to imagine as French fries are the best sides for a burger.
There are healthier options to fries, such as sweet potato fries or cheese curds. I always prefer fried cheese curds over French fries. Cheese curds are not only low in calories, but they have lots of other health benefits. They are rich in protein, calcium, improve digestion and even helps in weight loss. So, next time you want sides for your burger don’t forget to try out cheese curds.
5. Size it right
Eating a burger that’s nearly as big as your face is just great. A huge and juicy burger – who doesn’t like that?
Yes, everyone likes eating big burgers but if you want to make it healthy size does matter. When making your own burger at home, you need to control the patty size to make it healthy. 4-ounce patty per serving is the perfect size for a burger. Don’t overdo it –also try to use less fat and more meat while making a patty.