Healthy Eating: Hamburgers vs. Turkey Burgers

There is so much wonderful food that is served at a barbecue, you may opt for a turkey burger over the hamburger because you think it’s healthier. But before you swear off beef burgers, you should look into the meats to see how they compare.

1/4 lb. raw (85% lean) ground turkey
Calories – 168
Total Fat (g) – 9.3
Sat. Fat (g) – 2.5
Cholesterol (mg) – 89
Sodium (mg) – 106
Protein (g) – 19.7
Calcium (mg) – 14.7
Potassium (mg) – 264.3

1/4 lb. raw (85% lean) ground beef
Calories – 243
Total Fat (g) – 17
Sat. Fat (g) – 6.6
Cholesterol (mg) – 77
Sodium (mg) – 75
Protein (g) – 21
Calcium (mg) – 17
Potassium (mg) – 333.4

If eating less fat is on your mind, the turkey burger is definitely the one you want. But if want more calcium, protein, or potassium in your diet, then you’ll choose the hamburger. I was really surprised the turkey burger is higher in sodium and cholesterol, so that might be an issue for some of you. Whatever burger you decide to place in your mouth, don’t forget to buy extra lean. Make sure to go easy on the condiments and side dishes since those can add on tons of calories.

You decide which burger version you prefer? Below are two different burger recipes adapted from Eat Better America for you to try. Enjoy!

Turkey Burgers

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Makes 8 sandwiches

2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 whole wheat burger buns, split
Lettuce, if desired

Prep Day: In large bowl, mix all ingredients except buns and lettuce until well blended. Shape mixture into 8 patties, 1/2 inch thick. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag along with buns. Freeze.

Serve Day: Thaw. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Lightly oil grill rack. Place patties on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until meat thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 165°F. Meanwhile, place buns cut sides down on grill. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place patties in lettuce-lined buns. If desired, serve with additional ketchup and pickle slices.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving (1 Sandwich)Calories 340(Calories from Fat 80),Total Fat 9g(Saturated Fat 2g,Trans Fat 0g),Cholesterol 75mg;Sodium 720mg;Total Carbohydrate 34g(Dietary Fiber 4g,Sugars 10g),Protein 32g;Percent Daily Value*:Vitamin A 4 %;Vitamin C 4 %;Calcium 10 %;Iron 15 %;Exchanges:2 Starch;0 Fruit;0 Other Carbohydrate;0 Skim Milk;0 Low-Fat Milk;0 Milk;0 Vegetable;0 Very Lean Meat;3 1/2 Lean Meat;0 High-Fat Meat;0 Fat;Carbohydrate Choices:2;*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Blue Cheese Burger

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Makes 12 burgers

1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup water
3 lb. extra-lean (at least 93%) ground beef
1 cup crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 whole wheat burger buns
12 leaf lettuce leaves
12 tomato slices

Prep Day: In large bowl, mix oats and water. Stir in beef, blue cheese, chives, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper sauce, pepper, mustard and salt until well mixed. Shape mixture into 12 patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag along with buns. Freeze.

Serve Day: Thaw. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Place patties on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill over medium coals. Cover grill; cook 11 to 13 minutes, turning once, until thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160°F. For each burger, layer lettuce, tomato and patty in bun.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving (1 Burger)Calories 300(Calories from Fat 90),Total Fat 10g(Saturated Fat 4 1/2g,Trans Fat 1/2g),Cholesterol 70mg;Sodium 490mg;Total Carbohydrate 22g(Dietary Fiber 4g,Sugars 5g),Protein 30g;Percent Daily Value*:Vitamin A 8 %;Vitamin C 6 %;Calcium 10 %;Iron 20 %;Exchanges:1 1/2 Starch;0 Fruit;0 Other Carbohydrate;0 Skim Milk;0 Low-Fat Milk;0 Milk;0 Vegetable;0 Very Lean Meat;3 1/2 Lean Meat;0 High-Fat Meat;0 Fat;Carbohydrate Choices:1 1/2;*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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