How to Make Burgers Healthier

By on July 1, 2015

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By Jessica Remitz for Discover and Play

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Just because Labor Day has come and gone doesn’t mean you have to pack up the grill — or settle for a humdrum burger. From condiments and toppings to the actual patty you create, check out three new ways to enjoy a delicious, healthier version than the original.

Make Your Own Condiments
Why settle for store bought condiments like mayonnaise and ranch dressing, which can be high in fat and calories, or ketchup, which can be high in sugar, when you can make a delicious version at home? This homemade spicy ketchup from Joy the Baker includes allspice, paprika and red pepper flakes to give your burger a burst of flavor without any unwanted preservatives or additives. You can also try topping your burger with homemade tzatziki using Greek yogurt, cucumbers and dill.

Get Funky with Toppings
Swap that soggy piece of iceberg lettuce for a creative topping — like a fried egg, a slice of avocado, or both, like I am baker — it won’t only delight your taste buds, but also provide a boost of nutrition . The egg provides a second source of protein, B vitamins and iron, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. And adding in some avocado will leave you with a heart-healthy topping, containing folate, vitamins C, E and monosaturated fat. This fruit of the tree improves blood cholesterol levels and decreases your risk of heart disease.

You can also try adding a non-traditional cheese, like feta, or grilled veggies to your burger for an extra healthy dose of flavor. To help you make the healthiest topping choices, try out the app Fooducate the next time you hit the grocery store. It’s a diet tracker that grades your food based off of barcodes on the packaging — it’ll let you know what’s really in the item and provide healthy alternatives if your first choice doesn’t quite make the grade.

Try a New Meat
Traditional burgers are made with high-fat ground beef — that when smothered with other fatty toppings like mayonnaise and cheese can quickly turn into a calorie-bomb. Try swapping your go-to beef with turkey, lamb or even bison! Not sure if you’ve made the healthiest choice? Give Pic Healthy a go — an app that makes healthy eating a game. You rate how healthy you think a food is and then your friends can be the judge! Your social group can comment on your choices and cheer you on or call you out.

Annie’s Eats’ Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Guacamole is a delicious healthful spin on the classic patty. If you can’t live without that beef flavor, try to use leaner ground beef.

Jessica Remitz is a freelance writer and web producer living in Brooklyn. Her work has been featured in a variety of health and lifestyle websites including Spafinder, FitPregnancy and Everyday Health. To see additional writing samples and learn more about Jessica’s work, visit her website.

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How to Make Burgers Healthier