Healthy Food Choices: How to Make that Hamburger Diet-Friendly

One of the most important aspects of a successful diet is to know how to make healthy food choices. Devise a diet consisting mostly of low calorie foods that are rich in nutrition. Fattening things that contain nothing but empty calories like French fries, donuts and heavy creamed desserts should be avoided. These foods ruin your diet and they contain high amounts of saturated fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar which can be detrimental to your health.

Being on a diet does not mean you have to forgo all enjoyment of food. You can make deliciously juicy hamburgers that contain less than half the amount of calories and fat than the ones you find in fast food restaurants. Here are some ideas on how to make mouthwatering guilt-free hamburgers.

Use Leaner Meat or Fish

Most burger patties in fast food restaurants are made with ground beef that contains 20% to 30% fat. These burgers average at about 250 to 300 calories per 3-ounce serving. If you make your burgers with 95% lean ground beef, you will have cut about 150 calories and 13 grams of fat off of every serving. You can also consider substituting beef with turkey. Lean ground turkey is lower in both calories and saturated fat than beef. However, turkey does not have the same boldness in taste as beef. To maintain the beefy taste, you can use half turkey and half lean beef when you make your patties.

If you really want to be healthy and diet friendly, you can try salmon burgers. Salmon are strong in flavor, low in calories and contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of other health promoting nutrients. To make salmon burgers, simply substitute the meat portion of your ingredients with canned salmon and follow the same procedure as you would for regular burgers.

Add Vegetables for Flavor and Texture

Turn up the taste and the health value of your burger with lots of fragrant vegetables. Mixing chopped shallots, onions and minced ginger into the meat can significantly reduce the calorie count and bring out the flavor of your burger. You can also add finely chopped shiitaki or portabella mushrooms for more pungent taste. Adding mushrooms also gives your burger a more chewy texture. If you want a cleaner and lighter taste, you should try adding finely diced water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. These vegetables add an extra crunchiness to your patties and give your burgers a sweeter flavor. The higher the proportion of vegetables you put in, the lower the calorie content of your finished product.

Keep the Juiciness with Egg Whites and Tofu

Most beef patties are juicy because of the extra cheese and eggs that are added to the mix. Eggs also help mold the patties in shape. Adding cheese and eggs also adds a significant amount of extra calories and fat into the burger. You can achieve the same congealing purpose by tossing out the egg yolks and substituting the cheese with tofu. Mixing in tofu keeps your patties tender and makes them more succulent. This way, you cut down on calories and gain lots of high quality soy nutrition.

To make your meal complete, sandwich your patty between whole wheat buns and stack your burger high with extra lettuce, tomato and pickles.

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