Tips for the Perfect Burger

As people across Louisiana prepare to fire up the grill for the 4th of July holiday, burgers will no doubt be the star of the menu. Americans consume an average of three burgers a week, which comes out to an astounding total of approximately 50 billion burgers a year. There’s no doubt Americans across the country will be indulging in this classic sandwich, but a great burger does not have to derail a healthy diet.

Suzanne Perkins, Regional Director of Health Strategies at UnitedHealthcare, deconstructs this delicious summer staple and offers tips for building a healthier, tastier burger.

Building a Better Burger

  • Build a Better Base – Skip the white bun and instead, build your burger on a whole-wheat foundation. Keep carbs low by opting for smaller whole-wheat mini pitas or whole-wheat sandwich thins. Go totally against the grain and wrap your burger in a lettuce leaf for a carb-free option.

  • Pick the Perfect Patty – A moderate intake of red meat is important to maintain cardiovascular health and prevent diseases like diabetes. Keep your portions of red meat to 4-ounce patties for a regular burger or 2-ounce patties for sliders. Leaner alternatives to beef like chicken, venison or turkey also make great burger patties.

  • Spice it Up – Want to boost flavor without adding extra calories? Sprinkle in some seasonings. You can customize your own blend or go for a store-bought option. If you don’t mix your own, make sure to choose a low-sodium option from the grocery store.

  • Top it Off – Toppings can make or break a burger, both taste-wise and nutritionally. Adding tasty, vitamin-rich veggies like greens, tomatoes, onions, peppers and avocadoes can really boost your burger’s nutrient profile and make your taste buds happy.

  • Finish with Flavor – When choosing a condiment for your burger, skip the saturated-fat laden mayo. Instead go for ketchup, mustard, hot sauce or a fresh salsa to give your burger the finishing touch it needs.

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