Grilling Up A Healthy Burger

Posted by Lynsey S

Summer just isn’t summer without burgers sizzling on the grill. And with more healthy options than ever, burgers are becoming even more popular than ever. Top any of these burgers with colorful lettuce greens and slices of red and yellow tomato, and then serve in a whole-grain bun for a nutrient-packed meal.

Beef

Ground beef ranges in fat content from 11 grams to more than 20 grams per patty, so for a healthier burger make yours with lean or extra lean meat. A four-ounce burger contains about 21 grams of protein (almost half of your daily need) and 15 percent of your daily iron needs.

Turkey

With only five to seven grams of fat per patty, turkey burgers offer a definite caloric savings over beef. A turkey burger also supplies 22 grams of high quality protein.

Fish

When made from salmon, these burgers add healthy omega-3 fats to your plate. A four-ounce patty also supplies 23 grams of protein.

Veggie

These burgers are typically made from soy or a combination of grains, mushrooms, and beans. While generally a bit lower in protein (with 12 to 15 grams per patty), these burgers provide a dose of fiber—up to 12 percent of your daily need.

Grilling 101: For the best cookout results, keep these tips in mind.

  1. Clean the grill surface: Knock off charred remains with a wire brush or bake off at high heat before putting food on the grill.
  2. Use non-stick spray: Use a spritz of olive-oil cooking spray directly on meats and seafood to keep foods from sticking.
  3. Add flavor: Marinating meats and fish for 30 minutes to four hours improves the flavor and helps tenderize leaner cuts. Use low-fat, bottled marinades or make your own with vinegar or citrus juice (which helps tenderize) and flavorful herbs.
  4. Handle fish delicately: Use medium rather than high heat for fish, since it cooks quickly.  Wrap thin fish filets in foil first (add lemon and dill for flavor). Turn just once since repeat flipping may cause the fish to flake apart.
  5. Use the right tools: For smaller pieces of seafood or vegetables, cook in a grill basket or on kebabs (pre-soaking wood skewers in water will help avoid burning.)
  6. Keep it clean: Serve cooked food on a clean platter to avoid cross contamination with raw meats.

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