Are Burgers Healthy?

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Who doesn’t love a tender, mouthwatering beef or chicken patty? A hamburger with just the right amount of cheese and meat? Getting hungry? Well, me too.

Clearly, burgers are one of our all-time favorite foods and the most trending food in today’s world. But are burgers healthy?

Now, burgers are a good source of protein, iron, and vitamin B12. But it’s the grease and cheese that can create problems for your health. Let’s talk about it all in detail, shall we? 

Nutrition Facts of One Hamburger:

are burgers good for you

A burger is a nutritious food, no doubt. But we don’t know the exact number of substances we are getting from it. So, if I break down the nutrition facts for one hamburger, then it would somewhat look like this:

  • Calories: 266
  • Fat:10.1g
  • Sodium: 396mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30.3g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Sugars: 5.2g
  • Protein: 13.3g

This is only the chart of just one hamburger with just a patty, nothing else. And if we notice clearly, then we will see that the calories we are getting from just one burger are 266, which is too much for anyone. But it will keep our appetite satiated for a long time. 

And this is just with a patty. Let’s get real; nobody eats a burger with just a patty. That’d be an insult to all those delicious burgers out there. But when you add more ingredients, you also pack in more calories. 

Are Burgers Healthy?

Are Burgers Healthy

This question actually differs from burger to burger. Because it depends on the burgers, you are choosing to eat. If you are eating a burger with handmade buns and less ketchup and cheese, it might be healthier than the burgers we actually have. 

Protein Powerhouse:

Be it meat- or vegetarian soy- or bean-based patty, all of them are just packed with proteins. 

If you opt for the latter, the plant-based burger, you’ll find yourself loading up with proteins without the negative side effects. Say goodbye to sugar and saturated fat!

Protein is essential for the growth and maintenance of your body. Not to mention that the iron, phosphorus, and other nutrients that it may provide are also beneficial to your body. 

Richie Rich, But in Fiber: 

Whole-grain burgers are in trend now! In the current health-conscious society, more and more people are opting to replace their white-flour buns with whole-grain options. 

That is why you will see that most, if not all, fast-food burger places now have different bun options. You can cut back on even more calories if you decide to forgo traditional buns and replace them with lettuce. 

Romaine lettuce is an excellent choice because they are high in fiber but low in calories. 

When Can Hamburgers Be Bad for You?

There is a reason why hamburgers are not recommended for daily consumption. Here are a few reasons why: 

Red Meat or Bad Meat:

Red meat isn’t too good for your health. If you find yourself consuming too many juicy burgers or sizzling steaks, you could be at risk of different heart conditions. This includes but is not limited to coronary heart disease and stroke. 

The high saturated fat can also heighten your blood cholesterol. It can impair your arteries. This especially makes you prone to certain cancers, such as colorectal cancers. Also, how can we forget the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes?

Excess Everything:

Like any other junk food, burgers have too many calories, fats, sugar, and sodium. Yup, none of these are the good stuff. A single burger, on average, can have around 500 calories. 

That is 25 grams fat, 40 grams carb, and 10 grams of sugar. And the 1,000 mg of sodium will turn your system into a frenzy. You’ll find yourself in a sugar rush because of the insulin release, but it will only leave you hungry again soon. 

How to Make Burgers Healthier? 

How to Make Burgers Healthier

Burgers are meant to be cheesy, a big juicy patty and buns made with refined grain, right? But we can’t just eat those burgers whenever we want, putting our health at risk. 

Instead, you can opt for healthier substitutes and alternatives. You can make them at home or even order one in your favorite restaurant. Here is how:

01. Replace Buns with Healthier Sources:

We’ve already talked about this a little. Replacing your buns with Romaine lettuce can help shave as much as 300 calories. They can supply a high amount of energy, fiber, and other nutrients. This is perfect if you’re trying to cut back on carbs. 

02. Using Avocados in Your Burger:

Try to use avocados in your burger. Avocados are high in good fat, keeping you full longer. So, you won’t get as hungry when your glucose levels fall. 

03. Using a Leaner Cut of Meat:

Almost all the fat in burgers comes from meat. So, what you really can do is to change the thick portion of meat with a leaner cut. If you want, you can even replace them with white meat: chicken, turkey, and other fowls. 

04. More Vegetables Means More Chances of Your Burger Being Healthy:

Try to use as many vegetables as you can in your burger. Remember, vegetables can make burgers very tasty. Well, if you just know the correct way to use it, that is.

And try plant-based patties. Trust me; even the most avid meat-lovers won’t be able to resist these delicious creations. 

05. Less Ketchup and Cheese:

Less cheese and ketchup are the foundation of a healthy burger. Maybe even skip the mayo, too!

06. A Side Salad, Always? Always!

Last but not least, a side salad served with a healthy burger can be the best combo ever.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Burgers be completely vegan? 

Yes, they can! If you cook it off the broiler and skip the sauces, it becomes completely vegan. 

Can burgers be keto-friendly? 

Get some beef patties, cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and some more lettuce to wrap your burger in to fit your keto-friendly diet. 

Are homemade burgers unhealthy?

Fortunately, they’re not! If made right, they can fit your clean-eating lifestyle without any trouble. 

Which component of a burger is the unhealthiest? 

Ground beef has high saturated fat, which along with oil/butter, can have so much grease. It will lead you to feel all bloated and uneasy. 


Burgers are a good source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients. But the traditional version might be a little too heavy and unhealthy for some. However, if you love burgers, the good news is that you don’t have to give them up. You can replace it with healthier alternatives. So, now that you have your answer to are burgers healthy, why don’t you give this new version a try?

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