Burgers are essentially among the tastiest, easiest to eat and serve, and one of the most filling meals you can have in an instant.
But the debate continues on whether your homemade recipes are healthier than fast-food joints. Today, we’ll help you make a pick and show you how to get the best out of the healthier option.
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Considering the homemade burgers vs. fast food burgers debate, it’s generally true that fast food is the less healthy option.
That’s because most of their ingredients come from processed and mass-produced sources.
And ultimately, their recipes are geared only for great taste (and great sales), instead of health and wellness. But your homemade burgers aren’t much better if you use questionable ingredients or excessively rich ingredients.
So, going for a healthy homemade recipe is a more wholesome option. But how do you create a homemade burger that tastes good and is comparatively healthier? Read on to find out!
Understanding fast food burgers
First things first, fast food burgers are among the best-tasting burgers you can get instantly.
There’s no hassle of preparing and cooking, and the prices are reasonable enough for regular consumption. But that’s also what makes them not-so-great choices.
The easy accessibility of fast food burgers makes it easy to turn to whenever you’re hungry. And most people eat more than recommended amounts of fast food today.
Downing a fresh cheeseburger with fries is super easy and enjoyable, but burning off those hundreds of extra calories at the gym is tough.
And that’s not the only downside. Fast food burgers come with a ton of excess calories that make them unhealthy for regular consumption.
For instance, a Quarter Pounder with cheese would serve you more than 500 calories, almost 30g of fats, more than 1000mg of sodium, and over 40g of carbs.
That’s a lot of nutrients for a single meal. Also, most ingredients come from highly processed foods specially treated for taste and preservation. So, it’s as far away from organic as you can get.
The intention here is really not to say that one should never have fast-food burgers.
An occasional indulgence in them is understandable. But the point is that we’re better off avoiding them on most occasions.
However, we all still crave a juicy burger once in a while. So, making a relatively healthier homemade burger can be the solution here.
The main difference here is that you have control over the ingredients and calories that go into your burger.
Creating a healthier homemade burger
Just because your burger is homemade doesn’t mean it’s healthier than fast food burgers. Instead, you could very well be filling it with even more unhealthy ingredients if you choose to indulge.
So, here’s a short guide and list of tips on how to keep your homemade burgers relatively healthy without losing out on taste and flavor.
The internet is already riddled with burger recipes that can fill a lifetime in the kitchen or grill. So, we won’t bore you with tedious recipes.
Instead, we’ll take you through some tips on how to keep your burger comparatively healthy, regardless of the recipe.
Go easy on the fat
Try to choose lean meat whenever possible. Lean meat comes with less than 10g of fats for every 100g. There’s also ‘Extra Lean’ meat that has less than 5g for every 100g.
The only issue here is that lean meat won’t have as much flavor and juice as those with fattier content.
So, try to keep the handling and molding to a minimum. That will ensure that you don’t lose too much juice.
Lessen the meat according to preference
Let’s face it. A burger is truly only as good as the meat patty in between. But if you’re flipping your own homemade patties, it’s a good time to cut down on the proteins.
Also, it’s the perfect opportunity to bundle some veggies into the mix. Whether it’s mushrooms and greens or onions and carrots, you can play around with flavors and tastes.
You can also add lentils, black beans, or quinoa to the patties to let them have mass and texture without as much meat.
Watch the size
When it comes to the burgers you make at home, you have full control over how big or small you want the patties to be.
If you’re going for fast food burgers, it’s likely that you’ll order a greasy giant that adds volumes to your cholesterol. So, why not dial the size back a notch for the burgers you make at home?
A decently sized patty can be 4-5oz, depending on your preference. Cooking/frying it will make it contract to a slightly smaller size. So, you can add all the veggies and garnish you want.
Excessive salt and sugary ingredients can negate the health benefits regardless of how lean the meat or small the patty is.
Grilled veggies like peppers, tomatoes, onions, and greens can add both volume and taste to your burger without the extra calories.
Also, swap out the generic toppings for more nutritious alternatives. You can use salsa instead of ketchup and guacamole in place of mayo.
While traditional burger buns are simply the best options, you can still try out healthier alternatives occasionally.
Many people enjoy veggie-based buns that give you the taste while avoiding the extra carbs.
For instance, sweet potato buns and cauliflower buns can help take the caloric punch out of your burger.
Portobello mushrooms or eggplant buns can also be clever replacements if you’re in the mood. Once again its going to come down to preference when considering the best buns for burgers.
While fast-food burgers are not great for avoiding fats and calories, homemade burgers are no different if you go for the same ingredients.
The only difference is that you can decide what to put in your homemade burgers. So, cutting down on the meat, adding more veggies, and going for healthier toppings will surely make your homemade burger a healthier alternative.
The homemade burger vs. fast food burger debate will rage on for now. But wisely picking your ingredients can help you indulge moderately without ingesting too many calories and fats.