Aug 25, 2014

Burger Breakdown from Last Week

Thursday we played a game called "What's Wrong with My Burger" and the point was to figure out the good and bad about a burger.  I bought a burger from the food truck and I knew I wanted double meat.  Once I was ordering I thought bacon and cheese would be delish too.  Just for the taste, it's nice to have that kinda stuff every once in a while.

Today I am going to talk about each ingredient on the burger and whether or not there was some type of nutritional value or if it is just garbage.


1 bun:  Nutritional content: |Calories 200.0| Sodium 220mg| Carbs 29.0 g| Protein 4.0 g| Sugar 3.0 g||

Benefit:  Carbs are necessary for proper functionality of the brain.  The average person needs 100-150g of carbs per day.  Weight loss needs are different as are those of an individual who may be a runner.

Downside:   A lot of extra calories and carbs in one serving.  Plus, white buns/breads tend to be 'enriched' which is a process of adding nutrients.  Adding nutrients sounds fantastic, right?  But had they not been stripped during processing there would be no need to add them back.

Solution:  Eat only a portion of the bun.  In the picture below you can see how I 'picked' bits and pieces off the bun.  I also did not eat the whole thing all at one time.  I made a couple meals out of- who doesn't love eating something really delicious more than once?!

2 beef patties Nutritional content: |Calories 488| Sodium 150mg | Carbs 0| Protein 42.16g | Sugar 0||

Benefit:  Red meat provides high amounts of  Iron, protein, B12 and Zinc.  B12 is commonly known to help boost energy but that's not all.  It is great in supporting the nervous system (did you know this can even assist in reducing depression?). Ladies, you know iron is great to battle anemia.  Not that every woman is anemic but I definitely crave juicy burgers or steaks right around that time.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Downside: Many red meats are known to be high in saturated fats which can clog arteries, cause heart disease and increase blood pressure.  Oh and high calories

Solution:  Eat in moderation.  We do not have to eat everything on our plate anymore.  I am not suggesting being wasteful, by all means I love leftovers.  I am just saying that I ate a little more than half and saved the rest for later.  Getting a double burger doesn't always prove to be advantageous!  My eyes were way bigger than my stomach.  Also, while consuming red meat has its benefits it is wise to consume it in moderation.  It is best to stay within the recommended serving sizes and choose lean cut options.  My personal preference is once every 2 weeks or so.  I listen to my body.  If I crave it, I eat it.  Again, in moderation.  (please note I cut off all that fat in the steak below!)

 1 slice cheese Nutritional content:  |Calories 70| Sodium 11mg | Carbs 2g| Protein 3g | Sugar 1g||

Benefit:  Packed with protein, calcium, and saturated fat.  The average woman needs 46g of protein in a day while the average an needs about 56g per day.  This number will always vary from person to person based on level of activity and mass but these numbers are general figures on average.
We all know calcium is great for strong bones so how about if we talk about something you may not know?  About 30% of your calories should come from fat.  I typically get my fat from butter on my toast and the meat that I eat but in our efforts to be restrictive, sometimes we go overboard and try to eliminate ALL saturated fats. 

Downside:  This meal is already high in calories and saturated fat so adding one more thing to it is going against the phrase "moderation is key".  Generally, people tend to eat more than 1 slice of cheese so it compounds the nutritional downsides. 

Solution:  I thought about this before I ordered the double.  I knew that there would be 1 piece of cheese per burger and that extra piece of cheese would not really make a huge difference in my level of satisfaction with this burger so I specified one slice, only.  Another option is to forego the cheese.  You will be surprised how delicious it is without the cheese and half the time won't even miss it!

 2 slices bacon Nutritional content: |Calories 80 | Sodium 300mg | Carbs 0| Protein 5g | Sugar 0

Benefit:  It is just so damn good!  I don't know what happened during my aging process because I did not like bacon but now, for some reason, I do.  Not like I love it -gotta have it but I like it here and there.

Downside:  It is loaded with nitrates AKA cancer.  Weird how we like to pay to ingest cancer.  Clogs arteries, causes strokes and all that sh*t that I listed above about too much beef.

Solution:  Moderation.  It is not necessary to eat bacon on the regular or even semi-regular.  It is a much better choice to have it occasionally; sparingly; hardly ever.  With this burger there were 2 slices of bacon and sometimes I have seen burgers have 4 pieces of bacon and I can tell you that I definitely tasted the bacon with 2 slices so overkill wasn't necessary.

{Photo Source}

 1 slice onion  Nutritional content: |Calories 4 | Sodium less than .5mg| Carbs 1| Protein .01g | Sugar less than 1g

Benefit:  Onions help regulate blood sugar through the chromium they contain, they contain quercetin which is an antioxidant (antioxidants help fight cancer), they contain vitamin C and they help reduce cholesterol.  Go ahead, load up on 'em!

Downside:  Stinky breath, strong taste.

SolutionCheck out bad breath bandits - a way to control bad breath.  Try cooking them a bit to help reduce the strength of their flavor. 

1 slice tomato Nutritional content : |Calories 4| Sodium 1 mg| Carbs 1| Protein 0 | Sugar 1g

Benefit:  Everyone knows they contain lutein, beta-cerotene and lycopene great for the eyes.  They contain fiber which is great for digestion, they contain folic acid as well as vitamins A & C.  As you probably know Vitamin C is commonly known for its immune boosting benefits whereas vitamin A is great for the eyes.  Lotsa eye boosting stuff here.  BOOM

Downside:  People don't like to eat their veggies.

Solution:  Sneak 'em into things in small amounts.  Many tastes are acquired  - just like beer was in high school or wine after work.  Eventually the tasted buds become adjusted to it and then you can reap the benefits.

lettuce Nutritional content: |Calories approx. 2| Sodium approx. 1mg| Carb less than 1| Protein less than 1 g | Sugar less than 1 g

Benefit:  Great source of fiber which helps reduce bad cholesterol and acts as a binder for sugar to be eliminated from the body.  This is why carrots and other fruits and veggies with the skin on are a much better choice as much of the nutrients/fiber are in the skin.  Plus lettuce is low cal - like the rest of the sliced veggies are.

Downside:  I can't think of any.

Solution:  Eat more!!!  The above pictured burger has one measly little leaf of lettuce on it.  In a perfect world I would normally order a regular burger - not double- and I would add more lettuce.  I guess it would be more like a burger salad if I made it at home.

  Very light mayo Nutrition: | Calories approx. 19| Sodium approx. 35 mg| Carb 1.2g| Protein Less than 1 g| Sugar less than 1 g

Benefit:  Ummmm.... there's egg in it?  It tastes good?  You can actually use mayo to repair your hair due to the egg in it.

Downside:  High in calories, processed.  They are typically made with corn or soybean oil which contains high amounts of Omega-6 but most of us get too much of that and the imbalance of the Omega ratios can cause disease so it is important to keep those ratios balanced.  And mayo is high in cholesterol.

Solution:  Use it sparingly and lightly.  Use it as a treat or special occasion instead of something you reach for regularly.  I supposed you could keep it around just for hair benefits.

We are looking at about 867 calories for one burger!  Dayam!~ And, this burger is not one that has a buttered bun, extra sauces, thick mayo, one extra slice of cheese.  Or anything else that we can thing of that likely goes on a burger.  Kateri- you guessed 925 calories - you were soooo close.  Great guess.  I guess I owe you a burger!  Email me the name and location of your favorite burger spot.

This packs in 717mg of sodium and even though our household labels indicate that 2,400mg of sodium is the expected or recommended daily value - these labels have not been updated in ages.  Take a look at the chart just below that one to get a better idea of what sodium intake should really look like. 
Take a look at the chart below but take note that this chart was established eons ago. 

You can see that 2,300mg is the upper level and the recommended level is at about 1,500mg (still on the high end).  Compare that to what the average intake is and, my lord, I can see why there is so much heart disease and other ailments!

Based on the chart below, using the higher figure of 1500mg, this means that the above burger packs in OVER HALF of the daily allowance for sodium.  Even if you went by the above chart -using 2400mg that is still almost half of the daily recommendation.  Ouch.

Chart: Average daily sodium intake age 2 and up: 3,436 mg. Tolerable upper intake level: 2,300 mg. Recommended adequate intake level: 1,500 mg. How much daily sodium our bodies need: 180-500. Decreasing sodium intake could prevent thousands of deaths annually, because nearly 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to high blood pressure.
Info obtained from Center for Disease Control and Prevention

It has 6 grams of sugar in the whole thing.  One teaspoon equals 4.2 grams.  Per the American Heart Association, the recommendation is 9.5 teaspoons which is about 40 grams.  I am not insinuating that 6 grams is a lot of sugar but I am thinking it may be for a burger.  Especially considering all the other things that have a crap load of sugar in it - but that is for another day. 

I ended up eating the rest of the burger later.... duh... of course I was gonna eat the rest of it sooner or later!  Take a look at how much I saved myself by eating only a portion of the bun.  It is almost a full half of the bun that I did not eat which shaves off about 110mg of sodium, about 100 calories and about 3g of sugar. 
Keep in mind, these are estimates based on this particular burger.  Variations in buns, patties, cheese, etc. can change the above estimations.  It can increase or reduce the values but I think you get a pretty good idea of my point.  Everything in moderation and life shall be grand!
It's not really the burger that is a problem.  It is what gets added to it and how much of it gets consumed in one sitting that we should paying attention to.  What are your thoughts on the Burger Breakdown?
PS- please feel free to share this post with your friends/family/etc because I think it is helpful to bring awareness.  Burgers are not "bad" but preparation can really make a difference.
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  1. It is interesting to see a burger all broken down like that! It makes you think twice before adding bacon and cheese to it! They are necessities when you get a burger from a place that uses good quality meats.

    1. I thought of it because burgers aren't bad on their own and in proper serving sizes.

  2. Tricia, this is a very intriguing and interesting way to break down a simple cheeseburger. I think sometimes people to dot realize exactly what they are putting into their body so this is sobering to see and give people the true picture of how all of the calories and fat add up.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I always hear people referring to burgers as 'bad' and we kinda lump it in the category with red meat but the fact is our bodies can use red meat.

  3. This is such an awesome post- I want more of these breakdown posts!!

    Also- is there something with our aging tastebuds and bacon? I used to not care at all about bacon, I was fine with our without it. Now when I smell it I HAVE TO HAVE IT. I want it on everything. Not turkey bacon, bacon bacon. UGH!

    1. I am so glad you like it and I have a couple ideas of more breakdown/comparison type posts. I do not know if there is actually a "science" behind aging and changing taste buds but I started to get the same as you with bacon. Once I smelled it- HAD to have it.

  4. This was FANTASTIC! I've never seen a burger broken down like this! It really makes me want to pay MUCH more attention to what I'm putting in my body and really thinking about those choices! Well done!! --Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by & I am glad you liked it! I remember having a fruit tart at Christmas one year and my aunt said she thought I would like it because it was 'healthy'. Because there was fruit in it she thought it was healthy but did not realize the sugar in the crust and spread. Sometimes a breakdown is all we need :)

  5. I am a fan of the breakdown post too!
    Hence, my excitement to guesstimate!

    :) We'll save burger day for a day when the fates unite us! ;)

    1. I LOVE the idea of having a burger when fates unite us!! I have always wanted to visit where you live anyway so I guess I better put it on the list :)

  6. Now I'm hungry.

    I try to at least get burgers without the bun. Unless I'm very hungry.

    1. For a while I would get them "protein" style. Remember that fad? With lettuce as the bun instead of the bun itself. I like a little bun but it's weird to order it that way. LOL!

  7. I am a fun of the burger but it is crazy what some places add to it that really makes the calorie count sky rocket. I like to make Bison burgers at home with lettuce and tomato, no bun. I LOVE me some bacon but I do try and limit it, but I could never eliminate it, moderation of course.

    1. It IS crazy what gets added to burgers but if I owned a restaurant I'd prob put all kinds of awesome unhealthy stuff on it too!

  8. now i want a burger or five. i am not a fan of bacon but i do like my cheese on a burger.. and at home we add beetroot, yum!

    1. Interesting that you add beetroot to your burger. I have never thought of doing that but it IS a crunchy veggie so would prob go perfect on it! I remember reading a post of yours about Australia so is this where you are referring to when you say 'home'?

  9. Being a vegetarian, I don't eat burgers - occasionally I have a veggie one but I don't consider it too bad b/c I really only use a bun, ketchup and mustard anyway.

    1. The veggie version of things are always much better in calories/fat than the real thing!

  10. This was such an excellent breakdown! It all adds up really fast, doesn't it? I could totally skip the bun too. Now maybe I will! Thanks for this.

    1. Welcome! I def like carbs (need them too) but in moderation. Thanks for stopping by.