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Nutrition Tips: Healthier Burgers

March 23, 2015
3 min. read

National Nutrition Month®

I'm Blogging National Nutrition MonthMarch is National Nutrition Month®, an annual campaign by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! Find out more at and

Throughout this month, we will be focusing on the importance of good nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle. This involves consuming the right amount of calories, being knowledgeable about what you are eating, and making sure you are getting the proper nutrients your body needs!

Happy Spring! As the weather begins to warm, it’s finally time to venture outdoors. Clear off that grill and try out some new dishes to celebrate the end of winter!

Sure, we’re all craving a nice, juicy burger; but warm-weather food doesn’t have to be unhealthy! Here are some tips for making a healthier burger, without losing any of the taste.

Better-For-You Toppings

From, here are some healthier ways to top a burger:

  • Spice it up with hot sauce, sriracha, or chipotle. These sauces add some nice low-calorie heat that can replace your typical ketchup.
  • Try new condiments or make your own! You’ll have more control over what you’re eating and you can make healthier versions of your favorites.

    Here are some ideas from

  • Mix greens (like spinach) into your meat mixture before grilling
  • Add fresh herbs for a low-calorie flavor boost
  • Add a healthy filler like ground nuts to the meat mixture
  • Limit the cheese – try thin slices or grated cheese for more coverage

Leaner Patties

Burgers made with traditional ground beef can often have a high fat content. Try mixing ground beef with other ingredients or using alternate types of meat or substitutes for a healthier option.

Many meats have a natural “umami,” or savory, flavor. When using leaner meats or meat alternatives, it may help to mix in additional ingredients that have more of this flavor. This can come from things like soy or fish sauce, mushrooms, beans, cheese, and even tomatoes. Read about umami (the 5th flavor of taste):

Here are some leaner burger options, from

  • Lean ground beef (like 95% lean); mix it with mushrooms to add moisture while keeping a consistent texture and “meaty” flavor.
  • Naturally lean meat like bison; mix it with a complementing sauce like Worchestershire or sriracha, which may also help to add moisture.
  • Lean ground turkey; add mustard to the mixture for flavor.
  • Salmon; pulse it and combine with 1 egg white, and seasonings like scallions and herbs
  • Meatless veggie burger like black bean; mix black beans (which can provide protein and fiber) with spices like garlic and oregano, and an egg and whole wheat bread crumbs to help bind the patty. Cook over aluminum foil or on grill pan.
  • Portobello burgers; marinate the mushrooms in a mixture like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and mustard. This burger has no cholesterol or saturated fat, but you may want to supplement it with some protein-rich sides.

Find more recipes for burger alternatives by using our recipe filter here:


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