Homemade Healthy: Cholesterol-Friendly Hamburger

Hamburgers have a reputation for being a cholesterol enemy, because they’re high in saturated fat. Many varieties are loaded up with high-fat toppings and high-sodium condiments. As well, fast-food varieties may have tons of unpronounceable and artificial ingredients. At Zipongo, we’re on a mission to prove that any food can be made healthier by simply preparing it yourself. In this week’s edition of Homemade Healthy, we build a health-ified hamburger.

Hamburger Made Healthy

Servings: 4

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  • 1 pound organic, grass-fed ground beef (85% or more lean)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green or white onions
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 – 100% whole-wheat buns
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha “aioli” (recipe below)
  • sliced tomatoes
  • spinach
  • sliced avocado

Sriracha “Aioli”

  • 2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 3 tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

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Step 1: Form Patties

The first step to making a healthier burger is to choose the right kind of beef. Choose an organic beef that’s 100% grass-fed. Cows that are on a grass-fed diet typically produce more nutritious beef than the grain-fed counterparts.

Mix together ground beef, chopped onions, salt, black pepper, paprika, dried parsley and garlic powder. Form into 1/2-inch thick patties. Using your thumb, make a small imprint in the center of the patty to allow juices to distribute easily.

Step 2: Grill (Indoors or Outside)

Preheat your grill of choice. We used our handy-dandy George Foreman, but you can also use an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan. Grill about 5 minutes for a medium burger, flipping once halfway through.

Step 3: Make it Healthy

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You can easily build a healthier burger just by subbing a few ingredients:

  • Bun: Use a 100% whole wheat hamburger bun instead of the regular white ones. This simple swap will add up to 4 grams of gut-healthy fiber.
  • Condiments: We used a tablespoon of Sriracha “aioli” made with plain nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Skipping the mayonnaise will save you 10 grams of fat (including a gram of unhealthy saturated fat).
  • Greens: Remember, the more color a veggie has, the more nutrients it has. Instead of dressing up with iceberg lettuce, pile on the spinach or arugula. This addition will add tons of vitamins and phytochemicals (and more flavor, too).
  • Fats: Choose one fat to add to your burger, such as sliced avocado. Skipping cheese and bacon saves you on extra saturated fat.
  • Veggies: Adding more veggies is the single easiest way to build a healthier burger. Reach for an extra slice of tomato, cucumber or anything else you have on hand. Make your burger colorful to get the most nutrition.

Step 4: Assemble and Enjoy

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Our health-ified burger clocks in at under 400 calories. It’s reasonable in saturated fat content (4.8 g), which makes it cholesterol-friendly. It also pairs nicely with a side of our No-Sodium French Fries.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 365
  • Total Fat: 12.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 75 mg
  • Sodium: 359 mg
  • Total Carbs: 20.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Sugar: 4.0 g
  • Protein 26.7 g

Bobby is the community and social media manager at Zipongo. He has a degree in nutrition and dietetics and previously worked as a health educator.

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