With the 4th of July around the corner, I thought I’d talk to you guys on the fun topic of burgers.
But let’s face it: in most of your young-adult life, you’re going to be squeezed in uncomfortable situations where you’re battling your friend’s burning request for you to “be normal” and grab a (insert fattening food item here) or you’re battling your own little devil on your shoulder that wants you to treat yoself.
And at events—especially holiday events like the 4th—it’ll be humanity against you.
As the sweat slowly percolates at the brim of your forehead, you ask yourself:
Are Burgers That Bad for You?
But first, we have to get a few things established.
What’s in a burger?
A burger isn’t just one thing, first of all. You’ve gotta factor in anything and everything inside your potential “diet-breaker” before your ruling.
- Bun: Normally it’s just a starchy piece of carb-y, nutrient-lacking white bread with sesame seeds on top. I mean….at least sesame seeds are healthy.
- Cheese: I love cheese. It comes in so many flavors: provolone, mozzarella, parmesan, all of which are far better options than American cheese. You know American cheese is legally called cheese product because it doesn’t meet the FED’s guidelines of cheese? You know how fond we are of injecting things/dyeing things/drenching things in chemical.
- Condiments: Ketchup has the super saiyan sugar called high fructose corn syrup (I really hope I’m not the only person that watched DBZ). And if you’re trying to eat healthy, you should watch out for eating too much of this. Mayo tastes good, but you can only have so much (1 tablespoon) before you ingest 10 grams of fat. And although it’s not made with the unhealthiest fat, trans, too much of anything can hurt your body, your weight, and of course your self-esteem.
Besides, you know mayonnaise’s main ingredients are oil, eggs, and lemon juice? Look at the back of your mayonnaise jar and tell me how many EXTRA ingredients do you see?
Mayonnaise doesn’t need all that superfluity. It needs to go natural.
- And then you’ve got your fruits and veggies. Tomatoes, lettuce, onions. Probably the vegan-most thing about your burger.
Aaand of course meat. More specifically…
What is beef?
Beef (cow) is classified as a red meat, meats dark in flesh. Red meats, as the conventional wisdom goes, have been linked to cancer, according to International Agency for Research of Cancer and heart diseases according to Harvard health.
However, if you’re addicted to knowing anything and everything about food like I am, you’ll notice a list of websites debunking the conclusion that red meat is bad for you, and appropriately labeling it as a myth.
And one doctor, Dr. Ede, completely OBLITERATES the study proposing the link between red meat and heart disease.
See how controversially annoying this topic is?
Grass-fed beef, on the other hand, is not as bad. The cows weren’t fed chicken poo like normally, and since you are what you eat, I’m sure you don’t want to be chicken poo.
And must I even get into the pink slime–aka basically CLEANING DETERGENT–and the preservatives lodged in an inorganic burger?!
For this reason, people actually grind their beef at home. That is smart, but who has time fuh dat.
The Less Controversial option: Chicken or turkey. Specifically the breasts.
The breasts are the leanest part of poultry, and a 4 oz chicken breast (one normal-sized breast) packs on 35 grams of protein and only around 3 grams of fat, according to Calorieking.com.
And a juicy 4 oz turkey breast weighs in at around 33 grams of protein, two grams of fat.
Turkey has lower sodium and cholesterol and is overall the better choice, but you really can’t go wrong either way.
So can I eat a burger or…nah?
If you had something as “guilt-provoking” as a burger earlier today or the day before, I wouldn’t.
If you’re not hungry, but see a burger in sight and everyone else eating one, I wouldn’t.
If you’ve worked your butt off at the gym/home consecutively/had a stressful week/don’t remember the last time you ate a burger and you want a burger, TREAT YOSELF!
You only have one life to live. If you want a burger and know that you’ve been treating your body right for weeks on end, and if you don’t even remember what a burger feels like, I say why not?
One burger isn’t going to make you gain 5,000 calories.
One burger isn’t going to clog all of your arteries.
And I would say one burger isn’t going to kill you, but you could be allergic to burgers or chew too fast or choke or forget to breathe etc.
Just a few things to remember:
- lay low on all the calorie-packed/unhealthy condiments (mayo, ketchup). Opt for herbs and spices instead!
- Load that burger with veggies to further satisfy your hunger.
- Anything is better than American cheese.
- Eat slowly! Put your burger down between bites if you have access to do so.
But all in all, you might even realize, the burger wasn’t even as good as you anticipated.
When I started eating healthy, I noticed my craving for burgers and fast foods dwindled drastically. And you may feel the same way too.
But if not, chow down! Healthy living isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle. You’ll realize that in the marathon that is a healthy lifestyle, you can have your burger, and eat it too—in moderation, of course.
So peeps: what are you looking forward to this 4th of July?