Summer’s here and the grillin’ is good! But if you are watching your weight or just trying to eat healthier, you may feel like you have to skip over that mouth-watering hamburger for something lighter. Never fear, the team at Fill Your Plate is here to save your summer from sizzling away. No matter what dietary restrictions you have or how low your calorie allocation goes, there is a way to eat what you love without going off your plan. Here are some of our favorite ways to make your hamburger healthier.
Go the Lettuce Wrap Route
In many cases, around 25% of the calories from your burger come from the bun. Nice, crisp iceburg lettuce leafs make perfect wraps around a traditional hamburger. Or, simply skip the bun and eat your burger with a knife and fork. This is also a great option for people who are eating a glutenfree diet and for those who are limiting their carb intake.
Use Low-fat Cheese
For some people, a hamburger just isn’t as good if it isn’t covered in cheese, but if you can use low-fat cheese, you can cut the calories and the fat content of your burger.
Downsize the Patty
You can save a ton or calories and a bunch of fat simply by making your burger patties slightly smaller. Simply by going from a 6oz patty to a 4oz patty can save over 200 calories and as much as 6 grams of fat. If going smaller isn’t working for you, try altering the composition of your burger instead. Take your 3 or 4 ounces of ground beef and mix in some tofu or chopped veggies to fill out the size.
If you can’t see the point in eating your burger if you have to skip some of the best parts recommended above, think about making some swaps instead. If you don’t want to skip the bun entirely, you can swap a standard bun made from white bread for either whole wheat bread or even a whole wheat English muffin instead. Don’t want to give up your cheese? Shred some of your favorite cheese and use it instead of a slice. You can get the flavor and the gooeyness without as much fat.
Choose creative condiments like salsa, fresh sliced avocado, and leafy greens rather than other less healthy options to fill your burger with flavor and texture. Try making your own condiments too. Homemade BBQ sauce, ketchup, and even mustard can give you the flavor you crave with less salt and more natural ingredients.
One of the best ways to make your favorite burger healthier is to make some hard choices. If your standard burger comes loaded with all the fixings including mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, bacon, lettuce, cheese, and tomato, try it without the highest fat items (mayo), you might be surprised at how good it still is, even without those favorites. You may also decide to choose one or the other. For example, maybe you love bacon on your burger, but you love cheese more. Skip the bacon and thoroughly enjoy the cheese knowing that you have opted for a healthier overall hamburger.
- How We Are Helping The Next Generation Eat Healthier (fillyourplate.org)
- 5 Easy Ways to Eat Better For Less (fillyourplate.org)
- 7 Tips to Eating Your Way to More Energy (fillyourplate.org)