I know that for many of us the idea of giving up burgers on the spot or entirely, is not a probable option. Therefore to help you transition, listed in this article is some information about taking steps to eating the healthiest burger possible. The higher you go on the levels, the better and healthier things get for your present and future health.
Healthy Burger Characteristics
Level 1: Higher end restaurant beef, chicken or other meat burger. (Burgers from fast food restaurants, or fast food restaurants in general should NEVER be an option for serious, health conscious individuals.)
Level 2: Higher end restaurant veggie burger OR homemade beef burger. (This can vary greatly depending on the quality of ingredients used in the restaurant or at home.)
For the healthiest homemade beef burger choose:
- whole grain, least processed buns (Best bun option example: Ezekiel Organic Sprouted Grain Buns)
- organic and/or local, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef or other meat
- no cheese
- organic vegetables like tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, avocado, eggplant, etc.
- homemade pickles, brine pickles, or least processed pickles
- homemade condiments, or least processed, organic condiments
*Or better yet, skip the bun (bread) and have a beef, or veggie patty with lots of fresh vegetables
Level 3: Homemade veggie burger
For the healthiest homemade veggie burger, follow all the same tips above, just substitute the meat for a homemade bean patty. (See instructions below.)
Level 4: No burgers
Ultimately, all burgers are too high on acidic ingredients (meat, refined grains, beans); too high on heat treated ingredients (too many nutrients destroyed); too low on vegetables; and can be too high on fat, protein and sodium. While the odd one can be enjoyed as part of an optimal and well balanced acid-alkaline diet, there are just too many nutritional downfalls to be able to call this any kind of optimally healthy meal.
My Homemade Veggie Burger
Finally to finish off and make this the more practical and useful for you, here is an example of what I would consider the healthiest burger one can eat. I made this recently (see photo) and it turned out extremely delicious, not to mention as nutritious as possible!
Bean Patty: Homemade recipe of your choice like the Spicy Falafel Recipe (just squash to make a patty instead of a ball for a falafel). Always used dry, not canned beans and remember to cook instead of fry on an optimally healthy oil like, organic extra virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil, which can also both sustain high heat.
Vegetables: A few slices of different organic veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, green lettuce, avocado, bell peppers, eggplant, etc. Pack in as many as you can.
Pickles: Homemade pickles, from local, organic cucumbers, fermented using a brine recipe preferably, instead of vinegar.
Condiment: Homemade vegan mayonnaise. To make this super delicious and versatile sauce, I throw in about a handful of raw cashews into my Vitamix; one fresh, whole lemon or just its juice; a sprinkle of unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt and dried chili peppers or cayenne pepper; as well as a bit of water. (Add enough water to get ingredients moving, not stuck as a paste…you can always add more, so start with about 1/4 cup and work until you get a mayonnaise like consistency.)
Depending on your definition of healthy, you may still choose to see a burger as a healthy food depending on the quality of the ingredients it is prepared with. What is for sure is that a typical burger will never be optimally healthy, and if you are interested in optimal health, then you also don’t want to excuse eating it with “everything in moderation“.
If you want to eat a burger of the highest quality ingredients possible, then do so and enjoy it—guilt is more toxic to your body than most burgers. Simply balance it out that day, and through your diet with highly natural, wholesome and alkaline food options.
To your best health always!