Make Your Burger Healthier

Learn how to make your burger healthier (Photo: Marie C Fields/Shutterstock)
Learn how to make your burger healthier (Photo: Marie C Fields/Shutterstock)

Who doesn’t love a big, juicy burger? But if they’re a part of your regular diet, then you may find some love handles developing. A bacon cheeseburger at Five Guys, for example, rings in at 920 calories. Biting into your favourite, fully loaded burger occasionally is fine if it’s a special treat for yourself, but if you tend to need a burger fix more often than not, consider looking for ways to cut back on calories to make your slider a big healthier for you.

Change your bun

Cut down on carbs and enjoy your burger in a thinner bun or even a pita—and make it a whole-grain version rather than white bread while you’re at it. Another option? Skip one half of the bun and eat your burger on a plate with a fork and knife. For a fresh, crispy version, try using a large lettuce leaf in place of a bun—you may find you even get to enjoy more of the burger itself when not masked in a big bready bun.

Limit your condiments

Mayo, ketchup, BBQ sauce—all add loads of flavour to your burger, but they can also be high in sugar and calories. A typical ketchup packet, for example, contains 15 calories and 110 milligrams of sodium—which doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember that you’re likely also loading on mustard, cheese, relish and more. Look for other leaner ways to add flavour. Fresh herbs can pack a punch (or blend some basil up with some olive oil, pine nuts and garlic for a tasty pesto) as can some roasted veggies. Skip a slice of cheese and add some avocado instead for creaminess (and you’ll get some healthy fats, too!).

Switch your ground meat

Here’s a no-brainer on cutting back on calories and fat: make your burger smaller. You’ll still get to satisfy your burger craving, just will have a bite or two less than your usual hefty-sized version. Alternatively, try making it with a leaner meat such as ground turkey or chicken (just be sure that your ground alternative is the white breast meat—the dark meat won’t cut you much in terms of fat).

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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