3 top tips for making a healthier burger that tastes amazing

We’re big burger fans in the EatingWell Test Kitchen—and we’re not the only ones. The average American consumes approximately 156 hamburgers a year. It’s a food that is near and dear to our hearts. Maybe a little too near, in an artery-clogging, waist-expanding sort of way. A single hamburger (without fries) at popular sit-down chain restaurants can top off at around 800 calories, with the same amount of saturated fat (around 15 grams) that you’d get if you ate 12 1/2 strips of bacon.

The Bacon Calculator: How many slices does your dinner equal?
Potato Salads That Won’t Pack Pounds

But don’t take burgers off the table yet. Our three tips for making a healthier burger will help you enjoy this classic favorite without compromising any progress you’ve made toward bathing-suit season.

Don’t Miss:
6 Expert Ideas for Flavoring Your Burger from Meat Master Bruce Aidells
Peach-Blueberry Cobbler and More Perfect Picnic Desserts

Check them out and then fire up your grill to make our healthier but oh-so-delicious recipes for a Classic Hamburger, Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger, Inside-Out Cheeseburger and more burgers. It’s time to put burgers back on the menu.

Tip 1: Mind Your Buns
Buns contribute significant amounts of sodium to a burger. (The average bun has around 200 mg.) Compare brands and choose one with the least amount. If you’re worried about sodium, eat your burger without the bun.

Tip 2: Go Lean
Pay attention to the fat content of ground meat to keep saturated fat and calories in check. Some ground meats are clearly labeled with the percentage of fat. For example, 90%-lean (or 90/10) means that 90 percent of the weight is lean meat and only 10 percent is fat. Not all ground meat is labeled with the percent lean. Pork may be just listed as “lean” (which means it has no more than 10 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat per 3-ounce serving). Ground bison is not often labeled but typically has 8 to 10 percent fat. Ground chicken is labeled “breast” (which is the leanest) or simply “ground chicken” (slightly higher in calories and fat).

Tip 3: Keep It Juicy
Very lean meat can make dry burgers. So it’s a balancing act to keep burgers healthy and at the same time juicy and delicious. We opt for meat that’s 90%-lean or leaner, but we don’t always choose the leanest available grind (e.g., 99%-lean chicken breast). Incorporating additional ingredients, such as roasted chiles, caramelized onions or cooked whole grains like bulgur or brown rice (which will give you a fiber boost too), also helps to keep your burgers moist.

How do you make your burgers stand out?

EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Related Links from EatingWell:


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Latest News

  • Russian superhighway could connect London to New York AFP Relax - Fri, Mar 27, 2015 1:24 AM PHT
    Russian superhighway could connect London to New York

    Russia has unveiled ambitious plans to build a superhighway that, in theory, could make it possible to drive from London on one end to New York on the other. According to a report by The Siberian Times, the head of Russian Railways is asking the government to seriously consider his project dubbed the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, the first modern transportation corridor that would link up the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Plans call for the construction of a new high-speed railway and the …

  • Small tsunami generated in Pacific after earthquake Associated Press - 20 hours ago

    SYDNEY (AP) — A powerful earthquake rattled the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea on Monday, generating a small tsunami and frightening locals near the epicenter, but prompting no reports of damage or injuries. …

  • Ancient Petra sees few visitors as Jordan tourism declines Associated Press - 12 hours ago
    Ancient Petra sees few visitors as Jordan tourism declines

    PETRA, Jordan (AP) — It's high season in Petra, an ancient city hewn from rose-colored rock and Jordan's biggest tourist draw. Yet nearby hotels stand virtually empty these days and only a trickle of tourists make their way through a landmark canyon to the Treasury building where scenes of one of the "Indiana Jones" movies were filmed. …

  • 8 Things I Learned from the Boss from Hell 8list - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 3:07 PM PHT
    8 Things I Learned from the Boss from Hell

    Don't let them get to you. …

  • Taking chicken from frozen to delicious in under 30 minutes Associated Press - Fri, Mar 27, 2015 9:27 PM PHT
    Taking chicken from frozen to delicious in under 30 minutes

    Despite its reputed speed at getting dinner done, the pressure cooker was slow to win me over. …

  • 5 nutrition tips for better sleep AFP Relax - Fri, Mar 27, 2015 6:21 PM PHT
    5 nutrition tips for better sleep

    In France, after observing the link between eating habits and sleep hygiene in a recent study, the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INVS) and the health insurer MGEN share suggestions on how to eat to improve the chances of getting a good night's rest. Never skip dinner: "If the body has not consumed enough energy, sleep will be fragmented. For dinner, focus instead on slow carbohydrates -- such as potatoes, whole wheat pasta or brown rice -- and dairy products, both of which are …

  • 8 Signs the Girl You’re Dating is Not the One 8list - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 8:25 AM PHT
    8 Signs the Girl You’re Dating is Not the One

    Neeext! …

  • DIY ideas for the Easter brunch table Associated Press - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 9:41 PM PHT
    DIY ideas for the Easter brunch table

    Make the most of your Easter celebration by preparing a brunch table with a few easy, handcrafted items. …


My New Year's resolution is to:

Poll Choice Options