When we talk about a healthy diet, hamburgers aren’t usually what come to mind. In fact, hamburgers often come to mind only when we think about “cheat days” or unhealthy eating. Many people even say that they know burgers are bad for their health, but they’re almost impossible to resist.
What if we told you that burgers aren’t really the health villain they’re made out to be? What if we can show you that hamburgers do have some significant health benefits, and you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying them once in a while? That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?
Excellent Source of Protein
A man needs 56 grams of protein intake each day; a woman needs 46 grams. A 3-ounce broiled hamburger contains 22 grams of high-quality protein, thereby providing almost half of the protein you need each day. Of course, you’ll have to make sure the hamburger you eat is considered lean meat, which calls for ground beef that’s 90% lean meat.
Iron is an important nutrient because it carries oxygen to your body’s cells, tissues, and organs. And a hamburger is one of the best sources of heme iron, which is found only in animal-based food. The good thing about this type of iron is that it is highly bioavailable, which means it can easily be absorbed by the body. To be specific, about 35% of heme iron intake is absorbed by the human body, as opposed to only 20% of iron from plant-based food.
A Healthy Dose of Vitamin B-12
Here’s the thing with the nutrients we consume to promote overall health: They work hand-in-hand. Take iron, for example. Even if you’re taking the necessary amount of iron each day, and all of it gets absorbed by your body, it still won’t do you much good unless your red blood cells are completely healthy.
This is why you need a healthy dose of Vitamin B-12 on a daily basis. This vitamin plays a major role in the development of your red blood cells. Without it, or with a significant lack of it, your DNA synthesis will be impaired and your red blood cells will likely form abnormal shapes that do not have enough hemoglobin. Since hemoglobin is the part of a red blood cell that holds iron, a lack of hemoglobin means a lack of iron and therefore decreased oxygen delivery.
You’d be glad to know that a 3-ounce hamburger can provide you with two micrograms of Vitamin B-12, which is 83% of the recommended dietary allowance.
Support from Vitamin B-6
Another Vitamin that works to support both iron and the health of your red blood cells is Vitamin B-6. It forms a coenzyme that promotes the proper synthesis of heme in your hemoglobin. It also plays a major role in hemoglobin’s ability to pick up, carry, and release oxygen throughout your body. A 3-ounce hamburger provides you with 26% of the recommended dietary intake for Vitamin B-6.
So, you see, a hamburger really isn’t as bad as many “health enthusiasts” say it is. In fact, it can contribute to your overall health. But just like anything else in this world, moderation is the key to successfully taking advantage of its health benefits and avoiding its negative side effects, one of which is obesity. Here are a few tips on how you can enjoy hamburgers without feeling guilty about possibly compromising your health:
- Stay away from supersized meals. It is often tempting to “go large” when you’re getting a hamburger, but that is actually where the bad rep of a hamburger comes from—from our propensity to eat too much. Remember, moderation is the key. A 3-ounce burger without the toppings and sides should be enough.
- Make your own hamburgers. This allows you to choose the quality of meat used in the patty. It also helps you ensure that your hamburger does not contain any fillers, which are often unhealthy. You can even control how it is cooked, which means you can make sure it is made perfectly to your taste!
- Eat your burgers earlier in the day. Many people suffer from acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion after eating hamburgers. This makes it advisable to avoid eating burgers for dinner and to give yourself at least a couple of hours before sleeping if you just consumed a burger.
Yes, burgers can indeed be good for you. Just don’t make it a daily habit. Go grab your favorite burger now. Happy munching!