Healthy Burger Substitutes
By Paul Rothbart
Although its origin is shrouded in mystery, the hamburger has become a symbol of American food. Many fast food places and diners have a signature burger and there are even fine dining restaurants that do as well. A summer cookout is never complete without burgers. With the bun, cheese, and topping options, you can build them however you like and have an incredible taste sensation. Burgers are usually made with beef. Red meat does contain nutrition and health benefits, but it tends to be high in fat and calories. There are burger substitutes that are healthy and delicious. Even vegans have burger substitutes that suit their dietary needs.
Lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, ground turkey is nevertheless delicious and makes a great burger patty. Turkey burgers pair well with avocado, bacon, and ketchup or mayo. They also taste great with a variety of melted cheeses. Turkey is high in protein, Vitamin B6, and niacin, making it a very healthy option for a burger.
Salmon is a popular and tasty fish that is usually served as filets or steaks. But you can also chop it up and make a fantastic burger with it. Salmon burgers are great with a nice dill sauce and some lemon juice. Salmon is much lower in fat than beef and has fewer calories. It's loaded with protein and as an added bonus contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are excellent for heart health as well as improving cognitive function and helping to prevent Alzheimer's and dementia.
For vegetarians and vegans, a Portobello mushroom makes a burger with a meaty texture that is low in calories and has no cholesterol. Portobello burgers are very good with Swiss cheese and you can use lettuce, tomato, and many other traditional burger toppings. Mushrooms are loaded with Vitamin A and contain significant amounts of Vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. They taste so good you won't miss the meat.
Another hit with the vegan crowd, vegetable burgers have become very popular and even some fast food joints have their own version of the impossible burger. Generally made from black beans, beets, and soy, veggie patties contain protein without the high fat or cholesterol of beef. They are loaded with nutrients and plant compounds that help prevent chronic diseases. Veggie burgers work well with pretty any traditional burger toppings, are hearty, and taste great.
The hamburger ranks high on the list of popular American foods. For the health conscious, too much beef or any beef at all may be too much. Try one of these delicious and healthy burger substitutes so you too can enjoy this classic American staple.
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