Change Up Burger Night With These Six Different Meats
Glance at the grill at most summer cookouts and you’ll likely see beef burgers with maybe a few veggie patties thrown in. But there are a lot more options when considering what to put on a bun—and they all have slightly different tastes and nutritional profiles. Learn more about what ground meat you can pick up for your next barbecue with this handy guide (nutritional value is based on a 3.5-ounce serving):
- Ground beef: This favorite burger meat actually has lots of different options within it. For the healthiest burgers, opt for grass fed, which is lower in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories compared to the grain-fed kind, and go with a leaner fat percentage (ground beef can have up to 30 percent fat in it, but 10 percent fat is a lot healthier and still makes a great burger). Beef contains lots of protein as well as B vitamins, iron and zinc. Just be mindful of how frequently you opt for beef burgers since the saturated fat and cholesterol can be bad for your heart health.
Calories (95 percent lean): 137
- Ground turkey: Ground turkey has managed to become almost as popular as ground beef, often being seen as a healthier option on any burger restaurant’s menu. Made up of minced dark meat, light might or a combination of both, this meat tends to have a lower amount of saturated fat and cholesterol than beef. The healthiest choice is all white meat ground turkey, but any kind will be rich in vitamins, nutrients and minerals that promote healthy blood and nerve function and boost immunity.
- Ground chicken: Similar to ground turkey, this meat is made up of ground pieces of boneless chicken cuts. Again, make sure to opt for white meat and be careful to cook both ground chicken and ground turkey burgers all the way through.
- Ground lamb: This may sound exotic, but you can often find ground lamb in the meat department of your grocery store. It’s a great source of vitamin B12, niacin and riboflavin, giving you energy and helping your nervous system. That said, it can also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, putting you at risk of heart disease, so think of this more as a treat.
- Ground pork: This is the flavor-packed cousin to ground beef and is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. As with many of these other options, make sure you are buying lean ground pork, which is made from healthy cuts like the tenderloin. Other options might be really high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Ground bison: This meat was once considered exotic, wild game, but you can now find it at supermarkets and natural food stores. It’s lower in fat and calories than ground beef (and has more protein!). Bison is also high in iron, zinc and antioxidants.
A meal isn’t made of a burger alone–you also need sides and dessert! These blogs will give you some great ideas:
- Fire Up the Grill! It’s for More Than Just Burgers
- 7 Things You Never Thought You Could Grill (but Should)
- 10 Mouth-Watering Grilled Fruit Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat Dessert
Photo credit: Didriks