If someone asked you, are burgers healthy? You would probably think of the classic cheeseburger served with a pile of chips on the side. Let’s face it; they’re probably not the first thing you think of when someone mentions healthy food. But in reality, whether or not a burger is ‘healthy’ has a lot to do with how it’s prepared. From the type of meat used for the pattie, the toppings and how it’s cooked – burgers shouldn’t always be considered ‘junk food’. In today’s blog, we’re taking a closer look in the hopes of answering that age-old question: are burgers healthy?
Sourcing The Best Beef
In the western world, we tend to associate burgers with fast food – meals of dubious nutritional value and often high in fat (to say nothing of the possibility of hidden carcinogens). Burgers can be made from a wide variety of animal flesh, depending on personal taste or local dietary customs. In order to understand where this meat comes from, it’s first necessary to understand how cattle are raised. As a general rule, cattle are farmed in huge numbers, usually right here in Australia.
But there’s more to this life than just eating grains and roaming around on circular tracks. There are three types of cattle: grass-fed beef, grain-fed beef and grass-fed beef. The latter two are usually called ‘mutton’ because they’re raised on pasture rather than being fattened in a feedlot. But in all three cases, the animal is fed a healthy diet that includes plenty of roughage. Although they’re not raised as intensively as commercially fed cattle, the general rule is that grass-fed cattle have a better source of protein and less saturated fat than their grain-fed counterparts.
So, if you wish to go further in-depth to see are burgers healthy, consider where the beef originated from at the beginning.
Consider The Cooking Process
If you begin to question, are burgers healthy? Well, that depends on the final step (cooking) which determines what kind of impact it has on people’s health. Anyone who’s ever tried to grill a burger hasn’t gone home disappointed – it’s definitely a messy process, and even if you do all of the prep work right, the meat isn’t always cooked right.
It is important to note that cooking has a huge effect on the nutritional value of food, affecting vitamin content and fatty acid content in particular. When you grill or fry your steak or burger, it’s not unusual for fat levels to climb. Not only that, but grilling can oxidise valuable nutrients such as Vitamin E, selenium and Vitamin A. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a grilled burger or a steak burger on occasion. But if you want healthy burgers, try baking or grilling them on an indoor grill.
Keep It Lean
Of course, not all burgers are created equal – it’s the fillings and toppings that really make the difference. Instead of loading up your burgers with fatty cheeses and sauces, go for leaner options such as feta and mustard instead. Not only will you be making healthy burgers of your making, but you’ll be boosting the nutritional value without sacrificing taste.
Are Burgers Healthy? Try To Experiment With Patties
These days vegan and vegetarian lifestyles are enormously popular, so there are plenty of plant-based burger recipes available if you’re looking to cut back on your meat-eating. So if you’re looking for something a little different, why not try a burger made from beans or try using a vegetarian/meatless patty? For instance, taste our delicious Ribs & Burgers Beyond Butcher’s Original, all of the butcher’s original goodness without any of the beef.
This is another way to avoid saturated fats and increase nutritional value at the same time. So the next time you hear someone say they’re going to eat a burger, this will hopefully be a reassurance that it’s not all just fat and calories. As long as it comes from healthy sources and is prepared right, a burger can be considered a healthy choice.
Remember: none of these choices is better than the other – it’s really all about how much you enjoy them and how they fit in with your lifestyle. So, we ask again, are burgers healthy? As long as you’re eating good-quality burgers and keeping an eye on the toppings, you should be more than fine.
Just because you’re cooking something on the grill doesn’t mean it’s automatically ‘junk food’. As long as you choose leaner meats or other alternatives with sensible toppings, there’s no reason why burgers can’t be a part of a healthy diet.
So, for the final time, are burgers healthy? A question with many answers, but we can assure you at Ribs & Burgers they are both delicious, rich in quality and proudly made. So, you can order one with a click of a button via the Ribs & Burgers website. Or if you prefer to dine in, simply check out our Ribs & Burgers locations to find your nearest store and dine in.