Burgers are summer for so many of us. Whether you’re following a meal plan with specific macros or trying to clean up your eating, it can be hard to enjoy this American classic without sabotaging your healthy lifestyle. Here are some ways you can have your burger and eat it too:
1. Address the meat. Go for the leanest possible beef or pick a different patty altogether. Turkey burgers are a popular substitute, but you can also find salmon, tuna, chicken, bison, and lamb. Make sure to check the label for additives and/or percent-lean information.
2. Make your own patty. This allows you to be choosy about your meat, as well as add in seasonings to kick up the flavor. You can also mix in eggs, egg whites, lentils, frozen spinach, mashed black beans, or panko breadcrumbs to increase the nutrient value, stretch the meat further, and lower the fat content.
3. Think outside the bun. Do you even need a bun? If your carbs are spoken for in the form of a side dish, make a burger salad instead by placing the burger on a bed of romaine or spinach. You can still top it with traditional burger condiments to get that taste of summer. Alternatively, try a whole grain bun or a pita. Again, read labels to make sure the item fits your individual requirements.
4. Top it off. Check the labels of your favorite condiments before deciding to slather them on. Ketchup often contains high fructose corn syrup, and mayonnaise is extremely high in fat calories. Look for the cleanest, lowest-sugar version of each, or skip them and try Dijon mustard, hummus, or guacamole. As well, you can utilize the burger to consume more veggies…pile on the spinach, kale, tomato, cucumber, pepper strips, etc.