While a burger may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a Healthy Dining option, you can still take a health-conscious approach by thinking like a dietitian!
By Mary Parsons, MS, RD
The Burger: You know it, you love it, and it just may be the only food more American than apple pie. While a burger may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a Healthy Dining option, you can still take a health-conscious approach by thinking like a dietitian! The next time you’re ordering a burger, keep in mind these RD-approved tips:
- Where’s the Beef? Be savvy about your meat: the leanest cuts of beef are round and sirloin. And if you have the option to order a grass-fed burger, go for it! It’s leaner than conventional beef and has higher ratio of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
- Alternatively: Don’t Have a Cow, Man! You can lighten things up even more with a turkey patty or veggie burger.
- Don’t be a Plain Jane. Balance out the beef with all the veggies that you can pack into your bun! Stack it high with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and anything else that’s fresh and crunchy!
- Feeling Saucy? Think about it… do you really even notice or appreciate the mayonnaise under all those other goodies? Save room for the good stuff, and pump up the flavor with lower-calorie condiments like mustard and ketchup.
- Think outside the bun. You don’t have to follow a low-carb diet to go “protein style” – California may have pioneered the bunless burger trend, but these days you can pack your burger into a lettuce wrap in restaurants coast to coast. Going bunless can majorly cut calories, but if you’re looking for a more traditional burger experience, choose a whole wheat bun for extra nutrients and fiber.