Americans have a particular place in their bellies and their hearts for burgers. Burgers have come a long way from their early days as quick and easy lunches to their current status as a culinary mainstay in the United States. The desire for healthier options at fast food restaurants, burger chains, has increased as people become more aware of the importance of a balanced diet. Here, we’ll take a look at the ten largest burger chains companies in the United States and determine which ones offer the healthiest burgers.
Let’s kick things off with McDonald’s, arguably the most recognizable burger chains, and their “Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.” This alternative to the standard beef burger offers a good dose of lean protein without the unhealthy saturated fats sometimes present in ground beef patties. If you’re trying to eat healthy, skip the fries and go for the salad or apple slices instead.
2. Burger King
Burger King’s “Whopper Jr.” is a lighter alternative to the original Whopper because of its reduced calorie count. Pick the grilled variety for a healthier patty, and pile on the fresh vegetables to improve the fiber and vitamin content.
If you’re looking for something lighter than a burger, Wendy’s “Grilled Chicken Sandwich” is a fantastic option. Grilled chicken is a good source of lean protein, and you can make it even healthier by requesting extra vegetables and nixing the mayonnaise.
4. Five Guys
While Five Guys is known for their delicious customized burgers, the restaurant also offers healthier options. Choose a “Little Hamburger” over a two patty burger and pile on the fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion slices.
5. In-N-Out Burger
The “Protein Style Burger” from In-N-Out Burger is a delicious secret for those who are fortunate enough to live near one. This choice allows you to cut down on carbs by substituting lettuce for the bun. For an added flavorful kick, try ordering patties that have been grilled with mustard.
6. Shake Shack
Shake Shack’s “Shroom Burger” is one of a kind. A vegetarian option, it’s a portobello mushroom stuffed with cheese and deep-fried. It’s not inherently healthier than eating meat, but it is a unique and tasty substitute for vegetarians.
7. Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. has an option on the menu called the “All-Natural Burger,” which uses beef raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones. Substitute a lettuce leaf for the bun for a low-carb, high-protein meal.
Jack in the Box’s “Grilled Chicken Strips” are a better choice than their “Big Macs” or “Fresh & Wild” menu items. You can order these strips on their own or have them with a salad.
9. The Sonic Drive-In
The “Jr. Burger” from Sonic is a healthy, portion-controlled option. Add some greens or a few tator tots to complete off the meal.
10. White Castle
If you’re looking for a White Castle burger with fewer saturated fats, try the “Veggie Slider,” which is made with a plant-based patty. Vegetarians and those trying to eat less meat may appreciate this alternative.
Advice on Making Better Burger Selection with these burger chains
While these alternatives are welcome, there are still some general rules to follow when picking a healthy option at a fast food burger chains:
- Choose Lean Proteins: Instead of high-fat beef patties, try chicken, turkey, or vegetarian burgers. The grilled variety is typically healthier than the fried.
- Load Up on Veggies: Put a lot of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and other veggies on your burger to up its fiber and nutritious value.
- Mindful Modifications: Many fast food burger chains let you alter your order to your liking. Request your burger without mayonnaise, light on the cheese, and served on whole grain buns.
- Sides Matter: Substitute salad, apple slices, or a small portion of a healthier side for the customary fries.
- Portion Control: Find selections with reduced serving sizes or children’s menus to help you keep your portion amounts in check.
- Keep Yourself Hydrated: Instead of drinking sugary beverages with your burger, try water, unsweetened tea, or a diet Coke.
- Be Wary of Extras: Extras like bacon and cheese may taste great, but they can add a lot of calories and saturated fats that you don’t need.
While it’s good to treat yourself every once in a while, it’s also important to have some healthier options on hand to make eating at fast food restaurants like burger chains a little more healthful. The rising desire for healthy options has led to an increase in the variety of options available at these establishments. Whether you’re a burger purist or just in the market for a quick and tasty lunch, you’ll find plenty of options at these popular burger Chains that won’t derail your healthy eating plans.
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