Summertime is right around the corner. Bring out your sunscreen, your water bottles and your barbecues.
In American culture, it’s never too hot to barbecue. But now that you’re more health conscious since reading The Cluster, you wonder: are burgers healthy? I mean, it’s got lettuce, mustard, onions and protein? So that means it’s healthy, right? Well, yes and no.
What’s in a burger?
What makes up your typical burger? You can’t rule out or rule in burgers if you don’t account for all the ingredients that make them so juicy.
Bun: Carbs. Almost always nutrient-lacking. Maybe if you get a whole wheat version, it would be more nutritious.
Cheese: Who doesn’t love cheese? Plus, there are so many options mozzarella, parmesan, all of which are better than American cheese.
Condiments: Ketchup contains high fructose corn syrup, which is another type of sugar. Nothing is wrong with HFCS in moderation. But the fact that it’s usually the first or second ingredient should raise a red flag. It’s not like you’re dousing your burger in ketchup, right?
Mayo also tastes great, but you can only have so much (1 tablespoon) before you eat too much. A tablespoon of mayonnaise has about 10 grams of fat. In addition, mayonnaise’s main ingredients are eggs, oil, and lemon, but why are there so many extra ingredients at the back of your mayonnaise jar?
We need to appreciate the beauty and nature of ordinary mayonnaise, like Kendrick appreciates the natural stretchmarks on ordinary women.
Fruits and veggies. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles are probably the most vegan-friendly things on your burger.
We can’t forget meat. More specifically…
What is Beef?
Beef (cow) is a red meat. Red meats have been linked to cancer, according to Harvard Health in 2013. However, there have been studies counterattacking such claims.
Grass-fed beef, on the other hand, is not as bad. Regular cows are fed chicken poop, according to OneEarth.org (2013). You are what you eat, so why not be grass instead of chicken feces?
The less controversial option is chicken or turkey. Especially the breasts. The breasts have the least amount of fat on the bird, and a typical 4 oz chicken breast contains 35 grams of protein and only about 3 grams of fat. The same size of turkey breast has 27 grams of protein and one gram of fat.
Turkey ranks better in sodium and cholesterol, but you really can’t go wrong either way.
So should you eat a Burger?
If you’ve eaten something as hearty as a burger yesterday and the day before, I would skip out.
If you’re not that hungry, but want to fit in and eat a burger, I wouldn’t.
If you’ve had a terrible school year or have been working your butt off in the gym or don’t remember the last time you ate a burger and want one. TREAT YOURSELF!
Eating one burger won’t make you gain 10 pounds, and by itself, it won’t clog your arteries either.
One burger isn’t going to kill you — that is, unless you choke.
Healthy living is not so much a diet, but rather a lifestyle. You can still have your burger, and eat it too — just not every day.