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Building a Better Burger

31 August 2020
A turkey burger on wheat bread with vegetables

By: Gretchen Adams, RDN for the YMCA of Greater Dayton

Start with your meat: Swap your ground beef for lean ground turkey breast to lighten up on saturated fat known to increase the risk of heart disease. If sticking with beef, the leaner the better – ground sirloin is a good choice.

The bread: To cut unnecessary carbohydrates at your meal, choose a whole grain bun under 200 calories per bun. If looking for lower carb options, try an English muffin or whole wheat sandwich buns.

Cook completely: Be sure to use a meat thermometer to make sure your burger reaches 165° F, the minimum temperature to destroy harmful bacteria common in ground meats.

Pile on the veggies: When making your sandwich stuff as many veggies as will fit in to your burger sandwich. Go for those highest in nutrients, dark green leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers.

Toppings: Choose low calories condiments like grainy mustard and ketchup. The adventurous may try red pepper hummus. When going with cheeseburger, be sure to use low fat cheese.


Turkey Burger Recipe


1-2 Tablespoons milk

1 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 egg

1 Tablespoons low-sodium Montreal Steak Seasoning

1-pound lean ground turkey (sub preferred lean meat, sirloin steak, bison)

1/3 cup breadcrumbs


In a bowl, combine milk, Worcestershire Sauce, egg, and steak seasoning. Stir to combine.

Add ground meat to liquid mixture, and slowly incorporate. Add breadcrumbs a little at a time, continuing to mix until thoroughly combined.  

Form into 4 patties, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator. When grill is hot, place on grill, and cook for around 10 minutes, making sure to cook on both sides. Burgers are done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving size 1 patty

Makes 4 patties

Calories 170.147

Calories from Fat 25.521

Fat, Total 2.836 g

Saturated Fat 0.771 g

Trans Fatty Acid 0.000 g

Cholesterol80.415 mg

Sodium194.632 mg

Total Carbohydrate 6.903 g

Dietary Fiber, Total 0.365 g

Sugar, Total 1.158 g

Protein 30.403 g