Build a Better Burger at Home and on the Road

Burgers can well be part of a healthy diet; use these tips to build a better burger at home or at a restaurant.

Thinkstock image of a burger.

Burgers aren’t banned from Healthy Eats! In fact, healthy burgers dish up tons of high-quality protein. Just be savvy about what you choose.

  • Choose lean ground sirloin and add no fillers (good beef needs nothing extra).
  • Grill burgers on a stove-top grill pan or griddle and use cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Spike lean ground turkey and chicken burgers with fresh and dried herbs (fresh: parsley, basil, cilantro, dried, oregano, sage, thyme). Fresh herbs add not just flavor but moisture too.
  • Serve all burgers on whole grain buns, inside pita pockets or choose flatter, whole wheat sandwich thins.

When dining out, order the leanest beef burgers, or get turkey, salmon or vegetarian burgers. Request all sauces and toppings on the side and build the burger yourself (eliminate sour cream-based sauces and order vegetables, flavor-packed cheeses and condiments like ketchup, mustard and barbecue sauce).

Toppings and condiments: Burger additions provide an opportunity to add nutrients AND tons of flavor. Healthiest choices (at home and dining out):

  • Roasted red peppers
  • Sliced onions or caramelized onions
  • Pickles and relish
  • Lettuce and baby spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Sharp cheddar cheese and herbed spreadable cheese because a little goes a long way
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
Tell us: How do you build healthy burgers at home or when dining out?
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