Hamburger Nutrition Facts

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Fast Food Hamburgers

Fast food hamburgers can be very high in calories. According to the website, A Calorie Counter, a regular McDonald’s hamburger has about 250 calories, while a Homestyle Burger from Dairy Queen contains 350 calories. The bigger the burger, the more calories. A Quarter Pounder with cheese has over 500 calories, while the Burger King Whopper with cheese has over 750 calories. When dining at a fast food restaurant, ask for the burger to be prepared without cheese or mayonnaise based sauces. One slice of cheese adds about 110 calories to a plain burger, and 1 Tbsp. of mayonnaise has 99 calories. Dress your own burger when possible, or ask for just ketchup and mustard.

Homemade Hamburgers

The benefit to making hamburgers at home is that you are able to control the type of meat you use, how much and the cooking process. When choosing beef, choose at least 85 percent lean ground beef. Three ounces of 95 percent lean beef has about 139 calories, with 46 calories coming from fat. Although not a good source of vitamins, 3 oz. of ground beef provides you with 13 percent of your daily iron requirement and 22 g of protein. Use a food scale to measure the amount of meat you use as visually identifying 3 oz. of meat can be challenging. When cooking your hamburgers at home, avoid frying, but instead broil them on a raised rack in the oven or use your grill. Both methods allow some of the fat to drip away from the meat.

Turkey Burgers

An alternative to ground beef is ground turkey. Ask your butcher to grind up a turkey breast for you when you do your grocery shopping. Four ounces of ground turkey has 197 calories, with 97 of the calories coming from fat. Ground turkey also has 22 g of protein, but only provides nine percent of your iron requirement. Keep your turkey burgers from drying out or falling by adding some ground oatmeal to the burger before cooking it. Heat your grill or oven and cook for about five to seven minutes on one side, flip it over and continue cooking until your meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees.

Tips to Keep Hamburgers Healthy

Much of the calories from both fast food and homemade hamburgers comes not from a single meat patty, but in the additions to the hamburgers. Many fast food hamburgers pile one, two or three patties on a large, white flour bun. Every time you add more meat, you add calories and saturated fat. When eating at a restaurant, keep in mind the hamburger nutrition facts you know, and eat just half the bun instead of the whole bun. At the grocery store, purchase buns which are whole-wheat, contain little sugar and are reduced calorie. Leave off the cheese completely, or use half of what you normally would. Grate cheddar cheese and sprinkle a small amount on your cooked burger rather than laying a whole slice on top of the meat.


A Calorie Counter: Fast Food Restaurants & Nutrition Facts Compared

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Calories

Nutrition Data: Beef, Ground

Nutrition Data: Poultry Food Products, Ground Turkey, Cooked