When it comes to burgers, fast food outlets win hands down when it comes to speed, variety, and ease. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on homemade burgers forever. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can make homemade burgers at home that are healthier than any chain fast food option. So, are homemade burgers healthier than fast food? When you make them yourself they most certainly are!
Are Homemade Burgers Healthier Than Fast Food?
Homemade burgers are infinitely healthier than those you’d find at fast-food restaurants. That’s because they’re made with fresh ingredients and don’t contain any of the additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients that are found in processed fast food. Also, homemade burgers are free from hidden sugars and fats contributing to weight gain. The main ingredient in homemade burgers is ground beef.
Why Are Fast Food Burgers So Bad?
They are loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol
You might be surprised to learn that the main difference between healthy and unhealthy fats is their molecular structure. Saturated fats are in the ‘solid’ form at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are in the ‘liquid’ form. The main sources of saturated fat in our diet are cheese, red meat, and dairy products. These fats increase your bad cholesterol levels and put you at a higher risk of developing heart disease. On the other hand, unsaturated fats like those found in fish and vegetable oils actually reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and lower your risk of heart disease. Fast food burgers are loaded with saturated fats. In fact, one cheeseburger can contain as much as 10 grams of saturated fat! Put simply, they are the main reason why fast food burgers are so bad for your health.
They have no real nutritional value
The most common ingredients in fast food burgers are ground meat, bread (bun), cheese, eggs, and lettuce. But, have you ever wondered why they use those specific ingredients? These ingredients are cheap and easy to procure, but they have no nutritional value and barely any health benefits. In fact, ground meat is an unappetizing mix of different animal materials such as connective tissue, spongy tissues, and cartilage. These ingredients might taste good when cooked, but they offer no real nutritional value to your body. The same goes for the bun, which is basically a carb-loaded substitute for actual nutritious food. Cheese contains a small amount of calcium, but that is negligible compared to the high amounts of calories and saturated fat it contains. Eggs, which are the main protein source in burgers, are high in cholesterol and have no other nutritional value. And lettuce, although a healthy vegetable, has no nutritional value when eaten raw. Put simply, there is no real nutritional value in a fast-food burger.
Fast food burgers are loaded with sodium.
The main ingredients that make a fast-food burger taste good, such as salt, pepper, and spices, are naturally high in sodium. Sodium is a mineral that is essential for good health, but it is also an ingredient that food manufacturers use as a cheap substitute for real nutrients. This is especially true in the fast-food industry. On average, every single fast-food burger has more than 1,000 mg of sodium, which is more than double the recommended daily intake. Excessive sodium intake is one of the main causes of high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. So, even though the recommended daily intake for adults is only 5 grams, which is pretty low, eating a single fast-food burger is like eating two over-salted meals in one!
The bun alone is enough to make the burger bad for you.
Yes, you read that right. The bun alone is enough to make the burger bad for you. This is because the main ingredient in the bun, which is flour, is refined, which means that all the nutrients have been removed during the processing. Furthermore, the bun is often baked with hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup, both of which are harmful to your health. This is why the bun alone is enough to make the burger bad for you, because it has no nutritional value, and it has ingredients that are harmful to your health.
How To Make Homemade Burgers Healthier?
Use leaner beef
The first step toward a healthier homemade burger is choosing leaner beef. Most delis and takeout shops use ground beef that is 80/20 – 80% lean and 20% fat. If you’re making burgers at home, try to find beef that is 90/10 or even 100% lean. This will help keep the calories down while still allowing you to enjoy the juicy, flavorful taste of a higher-fat option. You can use the same amount of lean beef as a high-fat option, so it’s important to consider the portion sizes when counting calories. If you’re unable to find leaner ground beef, you can also use a fattier cut of beef. The best cut for burgers is sirloin, which has a higher fat content than other cuts and will taste great in burgers. However, you’ll need to be careful not to overcook it, as it has a lower cooking temperature than other cuts.
Adding vegetables to burgers is a great way to add more nutrients without sacrificing flavor. You can add almost any type of vegetable you like, but common favorites are lettuce, tomato, onion, and mushrooms. To keep the burgers moist and prevent the veggies from releasing too much water, add veggies towards the end of the cooking time or even after you’ve taken the burgers off the heat. If you like, you can also use meat that’s been mixed with vegetables to create a combination of flavors and textures. This can be a great option if you’re trying to include more vegetables in your meals but don’t want a vegetable-heavy burger. Ground chicken is a good choice for this or even a combination of chicken and vegetables.
Go for whole-grain buns and bread
Whole-grain buns and bread are a healthier alternative to regular white bread. They still have plenty of flavors but have more fiber and nutrients than white bread. This will keep your homemade burgers healthier and prevent you from needing to add extra ingredients like lettuce to soak up the extra fat. If you’re not a fan of whole grain, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Sandwich thins, multigrain, and rye buns are all healthier options than white buns and can work well with a homemade burger.
Try bean-based protein mix
Bean burgers are a great option for people who want a meat-free burger. They’re also a good option for people who want to reduce their meat intake but don’t want to replace it entirely. This is a good choice if you’re looking to add more protein to your diet or are following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. You can also add vegetables to make a veggie burger or mix vegetables and beans to make a bean and vegetable burger. Bean burgers will have less fat and calories than a burger made with beef, but they also won’t have the same texture or flavor as a regular burger. This means you’ll need to season them with plenty of salt and spices, as well as pair them with a side dish like salad or veggies to help them stand out.
Why Are Homemade Burgers Healthier?
They’re packed full of nutrients.
While it’s true that you should be careful not to overdo it, there are a lot of nutrients in beef. It contains iron, protein, zinc, and B vitamins. It also has some vitamins and minerals that are rare in other foods, like vitamin E and vitamin B6. Burgers also provide a ton of minerals, like magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. The main difference between homemade burgers and the ones you’d get at fast-food chains is that the ones you buy are likely to be full of additives and preservatives. At the same time, the ones you make at home are full of real, natural nutrients. Homemade burgers also come with a higher protein content than most other types of burgers. The protein is also easily absorbed and digested, so it’s great for building muscles and recovering from workouts.
They’re made with real, whole-food ingredients.
When you go to a fast-food joint, you don’t know what exactly is in your burger. There are chemicals in there that don’t need to be there. They’re not required for the food to be delicious. They’re added to keep the patties preserved and to make them last longer on the shelf. The same goes for the buns and anything else that comes in the meal you order. Homemade burgers, on the other hand, are made with real ingredients. You know exactly what’s in there. There aren’t any preservatives or chemicals. You know it’s healthy! You can even make your patties with organic beef if you want to ensure that your burgers are as healthy as possible.
They don’t have any weird chemicals or other weird stuff in them.
As we mentioned in the first point, fast food burgers have all sorts of additives and preservatives. They have chemicals you don’t need in your body. They serve no purpose other than to keep the patties looking pretty and tasting the same for a long period of time. Homemade burgers don’t have any of these chemicals in them. They’re made with natural ingredients and they don’t last as long. They also don’t taste as good as homemade burgers, so they don’t last as long. You can eat yours right away and enjoy the fresh, delicious flavor!
A homemade burger is almost always healthier than a fast-food version. One of the main reasons for this is that burgers made at home are almost always made with lower fat meat than their fast-food counterparts. Making your own burgers at home will almost always be a healthier choice than a burger from a chain fast food restaurant.