Burgers jammed-in with heavy sauces and layers of cheese, between a giant, refined flour bun isn’t exactly the model for a wholesome and nutritious meal and can actually hurt the health. But, when made with wholesome and healthy ingredients, it needs not to be kept completely off-limits. It is all about the ingredients that you put in that decides if your burger is actually healthy or not. Choosing healthy ingredients like whole-grain buns, vegetable patties and hung curd instead of those cheesy fillings can actually make your burger healthy and nutritious.
Here are some easy ways by which you can satisfy your cravings without worrying about the weight loss goals or your health.
- Cut down on the fat- When adding meat to your burgers, make sure that you include lean meat options, this way you can reduce the amount of saturated fat content from it. To identify lean meat while grocery shopping, opt for options that are 90-95% lean. Remember, the leaner the mean, the lesser is the fat and calorie content in it.
- Hoard on the veggie- Seeking in a lot of vegetables is your best bet at making your burgers healthy. You can add lettuce, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, grated zucchini and carrots to make it extra juicy and flavorful. Also, if you add lean meat to your burger, vegetables, grains and legumes will be the deal maker.
- Add spices- Herbs and spices are loaded with antioxidants like polyphenols, and rich flavours. Oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary have some incredible levels of antioxidants in them, especially in their dried form. By adding such spices to your patty, you not only make the burger healthy but also flavourful.
- Be wise with toppings- A topping full of fats, sugar and sodium can hamper your health in more ways than one. Try swapping out sugary ketchup with salsa, for creaminess you can add guacamole, or hung curd in place of mayonnaise. Again adding vegetables that offer variant flavours won’t let you miss the unhealthy burgers.
If you are skeptical about the options of burgers, try the below mentioned healthy swaps.
- Beetroot feta burger- Beets will give an amazing colour to your burger and are also low in calories. Having beetroot can help in keeping your blood pressure in check, improve your athletic performance, and fight inflammation. Whereas feta is a rich source of calcium and phosphorus for bones and niacin and B-12 which helps the body to get energy from what we eat. Together they make an amazing combination. You can choose for a whole grain bun, and add toppings from among the above-mentioned ideas to savour it on your cheat days.
- Blackbean burger- Black beans are loaded with potassium, fibre, folate, and vitamin-B6. They also keep you full for a longer period. Don’t forget to add grilled vegetables to make it wholesome. Sriracha sauce goes especially well with this one. Place the bun underneath a whole grain bun. And what’s worth-noting in here is, you can have it even on the non-cheat days.
- Chickpea and tofu burger- This protein-packed burger is also laden with health benefits, unlike the red meat ones. Chickpeas are high in dietary fibre, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins-C, A, E, and iron. Whereas, tofu is rich in calcium and contains anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants and phytochemicals in it.
Over to you
Burgers when filled with unhealthy toppings and creams, can wreak havoc your health. Replace your deep-fried patty from the grilled one and switch the unhealthy ingredients from the healthy and wholesome ones and see the difference. Keep a tab on the portion size and satisfy your buds without feeling guilty.