As the semester comes to a close and the season of beaches and barbeques rapidly approaches, thoughts of the classic, All-American hamburger are bound to make your taste buds tingle. However, that quarter-pounder stacked with high-calorie toppings can really slow down your quest for a perfect beach body. Next time you are in the dining hall, consider trying these healthier burger suggestions.
Classic Hamburger: Make small changes to improve your diet in a big way. Try your beloved beef burger on a whole grain bun and swap the usual mayonnaise or ketchup for salsa to reduce your sodium intake.
Stop by the salad bar at any dining hall on campus and add lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, or onions to your burger instead of cheese.
Veggie Burger: Trade in your high-calorie beef burger for a nutrient dense alternative. Veggie burgers are made from a variety of vegetables and legumes that are ground up for a meat-like texture. These burgers are considered an excellent source of non-meat protein and contain seven times less saturated fat than the average burger. However, consume all burgers in moderation as veggie burgers still contain a good deal of sodium.
Head over to “The Pub” at Livingston Dining Commons for a customizable veggie burger that is offered seven days a week for both lunch and dinner.
Turkey or Soy Burger: Reduce your fat intake by grabbing a flame grilled soy or turkey burger. These burgers also contain fewer calories as compared to beef burgers. Add some heat to your burger by topping it with hot sauce or peppers from the salad bar.
Try a twist on the traditional beef patty by checking food.rutgers.edu to plan your next burger night.
Don’t be crabby; you can still have your patty!
Author: Andrea Ficarra Reviewed By: Peggy Policastro, MS, RD- Department of Nutritional Sciences
References: Meet the Meatless: How Veggie Burgers and Hot Dogs Rate with Nutrition Facts. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=1232&terms=burgers. Accessed on: February 20, 2012.
Rutgers Dining Service. Available at: food.rutgers.edu Accessed on: February 20, 2012.