5 tips for a healthier burger

Some ingredients that make burgers juicier and tastier also make them better for you.

Go grass-fed:

Go with grass-fed beef. The flesh of animals raised eating grass (instead of corn and grain) is lower in fats and calories. Grass fed beef can have as much as 1/3 less fat compared to a similar cut of a grain fed animal, and it is also richer in omega-3s. Omega-3s has been proven to reduce a person’s risk of heart attack as well as depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Grass fed beef has also been shown to contain four times the amount of vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects cells against free radicals known to promote cellular aging.

Serve on a high-fiber bun:

Traditional white flour buns are pretty empty nutritionally and contain minimal traces of fiber. For a heartier and more satisfying burger, place your patty in between a sesame Ezekiel bun that contains 6 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, and 170 milligrams of healthy potassium! Ezekiel buns are made from sprouted grains, which have been shown to lower blood pressure while also helping control blood sugar levels.

Swap ketchup for tomato slices:

Check out the nutrition label and you’ll see that just one tablespoon of ketchup contains a whopping 4 grams of sugar. Ketchup also contains the artificial sweetener high fructose corn syrup, which has been associated with the increase in obesity. Why settle for the extra calories and fillers when you can enjoy the juicy, sweet, and rich flavor of a nutrient-rich tomato? One medium tomato provides the body with 28 percent of its daily value of immune boosting Vitamin C.

Add vegetables:

For a juicier, tastier burger, try mixing chopped vegetables into your ground meat patties. Mushrooms, onions, and zucchini are great choices that add delicious flavor and texture, while also providing a host of energy producing nutrients such as thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Water-rich vegetables also provide added moisture to burgers, which helps prevent them from drying out on the grill.

Diet-friendly spices & herbs:

Cooking wisely means using ingredients that taste good while also benefitting your health. Using nutrient rich spices offers an array of benefits, especially when it comes to weight control. Cayenne pepper for example has been shown to increase the rate at which the body burns calories. According to a study conducted at Tufts University, consumption of turmeric helps suppress the growth of fat tissue.

For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books:  The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Subscribe to Tanya’s free weekly newsletter and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn