Learn how to turn your burger healthy

Nothing goes better with the big game than a juicy burger. Few things taste better than a burger topped with some grilled onions, a couple strips of crispy bacon and piece of melted cheese – is your mouth watering?

Despite the fact that a well-topped burger can make your taste buds dance, did you know that your favorite burger could chart upwards of 700 calories? It’s true. But that grilled favorite doesn’t have to equal diet death. In fact, there are plenty of ways to slim down your burger without sacrificing the taste.

Change the bun. Believe it or not, your burger bun holds quite a bit of calories. The worst part is that most of those calories are deemed as “empty” because of the high calorie content and low nutritional value. You can eliminate some unwanted calories by simply cutting the bun altogether or switch to a lower-calorie option. Consider using a whole wheat English muffin as a bun. You’ll cut your calories and increase your fiber intake!

Size down. If you’re playing host to the barbecue party, avoid the pre-made, frozen patties. Instead, choose lean meat when making burger patties. Your guests will love you so much more than they already do. When you are forming your patties, pull out the scale and measure them. A healthy portion size is about 4 ounces uncooked. Once cooked, you will be left with a healthy 3-ounce cooked patty – the perfect portion size for a burger.

Switch it up. Although, the term “burger” often implies a patty formed from ground beef, there are other forms of burgers. In fact, that’s one of the appeals of a burger – its versatility. If you’re looking for robust taste sans the calories, try some of these options: salmon, veggie, chicken or turkey burger. Each option will burst with flavor.

Rethink the condiments. It’s easy to rack up the calories when you slather your burger with mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup. To help cut the calories, opt for atypical toppings. You might consider some grilled veggies, salsa, a slice of avocado or some grilled fruit. Your burger will be full of flavor without the detrimental effects of a high-calorie meal.

You don’t have to forgo the burger completely, just change it up a bit to knock down some of the calories and high-fat content. Making simple changes will lower your calorie and fat intake without sacrificing the flavors you love about a burger. Get creative because the best burgers are often found through experimentation!

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