At Home is Best: How Restaurant Burgers Stack Up
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Published on July 13, 2021

hamburger on buns with fixings

At Home is Best: How Restaurant Burgers Stack Up

My ideal burger is easy, and here it is, by the numbers:

  1. 93% lean ground beef
  2. A slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese
  3. Served on a whole wheat bun
  4. Topped with grilled onions, lettuce and tomato
  5. Sauced with a bit of barbecue sauce and a little olive-oil based mayonnaise

Nutritionally, this burger comes in like this:

  • About 475 calories
  • 34 grams of protein
  • 22 grams of fat
  • 32 grams of carbohydrate
  • 500 milligrams of sodium

These nutrition stats are easier to fit into a balanced diet than some of the restaurant options. Compare the homemade to these:

  • Both the BK Whopper and McDonald’s deluxe quarter pounder have about 650 calories, 38 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbohydrate, 28 grams of protein and around 1000 milligrams of sodium.
  • Worse yet? The gourmet cheeseburger at Red Robin restaurants. It tips the scales with 800 calories, 47 grams of fat, 56 grams of carbohydrate, 40 grams of protein and 1600 milligrams of sodium. And that doesn’t even include any bottomless steak fries!

You can see why home-grilled burgers are a better and more affordable choice. Plus it can be a fun summer celebration – happy grilling to all, all summer long.

Lauren Cornay, RD, LN, is a registered dietitian with Avera Heart Hospital. Learn more about nutrition and your health.

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