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How Many Calories in a Burger? Health Information

How Many Calories in a Cheeseburger Health Information

There are a lot of factors that go into determining the number of calories in a burger (how lean your ground beef is, whether you top your burger with anything, and what kind of bread you’re serving it on, to name a few). Since each cheeseburger is unique (and quarter-pound cheeseburgers range anywhere from 400 to 700 calories), we created a quick cheat sheet (based on average calorie counts for some of the higher-calorie components of your burger) to help you determine how yours stacks up.

Ground beef patty. Lettuce. Tomatoes. Bun. Maybe some cheese. Most hamburgers are comprised of only a handful of components, yet when it comes to their nutritional make-up, all burgers are not created equally. In fact, depending on which hamburger you order, you can be biting into a snack-sized slider or a mega-burger with over half a day’s worth of calories.

Hamburgers are one of the most popular fast-food meals around the world. They are a complete meal providing you with enough energy to do work. They are convenient to eat anywhere because you can carry them. They are easily available from probably any street corner and most of all, they are unquestionably delicious.

And hey, we don’t blame you for wanting to indulge every once in a while. Instead of denying those fast-food cravings completely, just aim to try and choose your burger wisely. So to help you out, we’ve ranked every burger option at your favorite fast-food restaurants from the burgers with the most calories to the burgers that are your best bet as they’re the lowest in calories in a burger . The next time the drive-thru starts calling your name, take a glimpse at this list so that you can enjoy your burger without letting all dietary guidelines fall by the wayside.

Stop for a minute and think about your favorite cookout food. Is it juicy and delicious? Perfectly smoky and slightly charred? Topped with gooey, melted cheese? It’s hard to beat the taste of a good old-fashioned cheeseburger — but eat too many and the calories in a burger can really add up.

Even though hamburgers are a staple on the menu of most fast food restaurants, an occasional single-patty burger can be part of a nutritious diet. You just need to know how to order—or how to cook—a hamburger to keep it healthy.

Nutrition Facts: Calories in a Burger

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one hamburger with a single patty and no condiments (90g).

  • Calories: 266
  • Fat: 10.1g
  • Sodium: 396mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30.3g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Sugars: 5.2g
  • Protein: 13.3g

Eating a hamburger will boost your saturated fat intake. Ground beef, the primary ingredient in a burger, is high in saturated fat. And many people prepare their burgers using additional fat like butter or oil.

Saturated fat is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The nutrition experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend that you limit your saturated fat intake to 10% of your total daily calorie consumption.​

Still, a hamburger does provide some nutritional value. It is a good source of protein, iron, phosphorus, and several other nutrients. If you choose to eat your hamburger on a whole grain bun, it may also provide healthy, filling fiber.

There are a lot of factors that go into determining the number of calories in a burger (how lean your ground beef is, whether you top your burger with anything, and what kind of bread you’re serving it on, to name a few). Since each cheeseburger is unique (and quarter-pound cheeseburgers range anywhere from 400 to 700 calories), we created a quick cheat sheet (based on average calorie counts for some of the higher-calorie components of your burger) to help you determine how yours stacks up.

Calorie Comparison

The number of hamburger calories you consume may depend on where you buy or order your burger. Making it at home is usually your best bet for good health because you can use a lower-fat preparation method. If you eat out, here’s how a few popular burgers compare (note that some of these are made with more than one beef patty).

  • Burger King Hamburger: 220 calories, 8 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat
  • McDonalds Hamburger: 240 calories, 8 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat
  • In-N-Out Burger Hamburger with Onion: 390 calories, 19 grams fat, 5 grams of saturated fat
  • McDonalds Big Mac: 530 calories, 27 grams fat, 10 grams saturated fat
  • Red Robin Keep It Simple Burger: 624 calories, 33 grams fat
  • Burger King Whopper: 630 calories, 38 grams fat, 11 grams saturated fat
  • Applebees Classic Burger: 780 calories, 50 grams fat, 18 grams saturated fat
  • TGIFridays All-American Stacked Burger: 1480 calories, 93 grams fat, 34 grams of saturated fat

When it comes to counting calories in a burger, the type of meat used in the burger is a key consideration because the bulk of the calories of hamburgers lie on the patty. Among the type of meat used to create burgers include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, salmon, and veggie meat. Each type of patty contains different calories.

Other factors can increase the calories of the patty because of the fat content of the ground meat. As a rule, the leaner the meat used for the patty, the lower its calories. Meat with more fat content would result in higher calories. This especially applies to beef and pork. For instance, if you have a 100-gram beef patty that contains 20% fat, its calorie content would spike to as much as 290 calories. And this is not the only thing that you should worry about. The higher the fat content of the meat also means that it contains more saturated fats. This type of unhealthy fat can, in turn, increase your level of cholesterol which can cause heart diseases.

In the case of turkey, chicken and fish patties, their fat content may not be as significant. For the veggie patty, on the other hand, the different vegetable contents of the patty would impact the number of calories. Ingredients such as soybeans, nuts, grains, mushrooms, and tofu can make the veggie meat calories to as low as 70 calories to as high as 180 calories.

Based on the foregoing data, hamburgers that use chicken, fish, turkey, and vegetables as patties generally have fewer calories compared to hamburgers that use red meat patties like beef, pork, and lamb.

Fast food restaurants are the Mecca of hamburgers. Most of them make their mark in the industry with the type of burger that they carry. Some fast-food hamburgers have become so popular that brand names of some burgers have become slang terms to refer to burgers such as Big Mac, Whopper, and Burger King.

A regular cheeseburger in a fast-food restaurant contains around 370 calories. To breakdown its calories contents, the regular 100-gram beef patty contains 200 calories. The usual burger bun contributes around 100 calories. The slice of cheese puts an additional 50 calories, while the additional condiments like ketchup, tomatoes, and others append 20 more for a total of 370 calories. Depending on the type and amount of condiments you add, calories will further slightly increase. For additional information, a tablespoon of mayonnaise can add up to 100 calories.

Fast food restaurants are especially known for creating the juiciest, tastiest and most indulging hamburgers in the world without much ado about calories. Unfortunately, nutrition is the least of their concerns. Some hamburger brands are so high in calories that they almost cover all your calorie needs in a day in just one meal. For instance, Carl’s Junior’s Thickburger El Diablo contains 1300 calories and Johnny Rockets’ Bacon & Cheddar Double Cheeseburger contains as much as 1800 calories, which is just 200 calories away from the average amount of calories that a regular person must eat in a single day.

While at this, you might as well familiarize yourself with the calorie content of the most popular burgers that you most likely love. The regular cheeseburger from McDonald’s has around 270 calories but its celebrated Quarter Pounder with cheese has 518 calories. The popular Whopper with bacon and cheese from Burger King has 722 calories while Wendy’s Baconator has 920 calories.

But that’s just the hamburgers. Fast food chains usually serve burgers in combos with fries and sodas. Just so you would know, a typical serving of French fries would contain 250 calories including ketchup or mayonnaise while a 330ml of regular Coke adds 140 calories. Thus, a single combo meal in the fast-food chain would amount to almost 1000 calories already.

What Is Your Concern? Health Or Diet?

Health and diet are two different concepts that are closely intertwined. A proper diet is a vital component of your health because you are essentially what you eat. The food you eat has a tremendous impact on your weight. And the more you gain weight, the most likely that you become unhealthy and prone to different diseases.

Hamburgers are not absolute evil when it comes to diet. However, you must be cautious about the number of calories in a burger that you eat because it is directly proportional to the amount of weight that you can potentially gain.

A calorie is a unit of energy. 200 calories essentially mean 200 units of energy. If you fail to consume or use that energy, then that energy becomes fat which results in weight gain. The more calories in a burger you intake, the greater the weight you can gain unless you burn those extra calories through work out or any physical activity. Thus, it is worthwhile for you to know how much calories does your favorite juicy hamburger contains.

How to Make Your Hamburger Healthier

Home-Made Burgers allow you to control the number of calories in a burger that you pack in your burger. You can either go low or go high. You can decide what type of meat you use as patties. You can select how lean is the meat you are going to use. You can determine the size of serving as well as define any additional condiments that you are going to add to your burger.

Ideally, home-made burgers have lower calories than fast-food burgers. On average, they contain around 350 calories. Moreover, they are generally considered healthier because they contain fewer preservatives, additives and other stabilizers. You can further make home-made burgers healthier by making changes in the ingredients.

One way to reduce the calories of your home-made burger is by reducing the size of your meat patty. Instead of using 100 grams of meat, you can opt for just 70 grams that will immediately decrease the number of calories in the patty by 30%. Instead of using pure beef or meat, you can alternatively add vegetables in the patty such as carrots and mushrooms, which can significantly reduce calories from meat. You can also choose ground beef meat, or grass-fed meat, or organic products, etc. The way you cook also affects calories. Instead of frying the burger patties in oil, you can grill the burger to reduce its fat content as well as its calories.

Another nifty trick to lessen the calories is by switching to wheat bread instead of the standard burger bun. Wheat bread is rich in fiber, which makes it a healthier alternative. If you are a true meat lover, you can also choose to do away with the bun altogether and enjoy a flat burger. A flat burger is freed of calories from the burger bun.

Cook Your Hamburger at Home

When you cook at home, you can control the portion size. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended serving size for beef is just three cooked ounces.

You can also change the preparation method to boost your burger nutrition. Some people make burgers with whole grains such as whole grains like quinoa or bulgur to help bind the meat. These grains are low in sodium, add fiber, and provide vitamins and minerals.

Load Up the Veggies

Add vegetables to your hamburger patty. Spinach, onions, chopped peppers, and other veggies add flavor, crunch, and boost the nutritional value. It may also help to reduce the amount of meat you use and increase your fiber intake.

Go Grilled

Whether you eat out or cook at home, a grilled burger is better than a burger that is fried. When you grill meat, the fat drains away. When you cook your patty in a frying pan, the meat sits in fat and absorbs much of it.

Shop for Leaner Meat

When you select ground beef for your burger at the grocery store or butcher, look for 95% lean ground beef to save on calories in a burger and saturated fat. You can also combine lean ground beef with lean ground turkey or lean ground turkey to keep the beef flavor but minimize the saturated fat and calories.

Try It Topless

Most hamburger buns add calories in a burger , fat and refined carbohydrates to your meal. So cut your count in half by going without the top of your bun. Your hamburger will be messier to eat, but a little bit healthier. And you can always use a fork and knife if necessary. Another option is to use a lettuce wrap as a bun and skip the bread entirely.

Scale Back on Salt

Many restaurant hamburgers are very salty. If you are trying to cut back on sodium in your diet, scale back on the added salt when you cook a burger at home. Use other seasonings like fresh onion or jalapeno for a boost of flavor.

Be Cautious With Condiments

The burger patty is high in calories on its own. Toppings and condiments can send your fat and calorie count over the edge. Skip bacon, mayo, barbecue sauce, and even ketchup if you want a burger with fewer calories and fat and less sugar. If you order a burger at a restaurant, ask for your condiments on the side. Then keep your portion size to about a tablespoon.

Select Your Side Dish With Care

What pairs perfectly with a juicy burger? If you are eating out, it’s likely that your meal will come with fries and maybe even a milkshake. Your total calorie count for that meal will be in the thousands. If you want to cut fat and calories in a burger, enjoy your burger with veggie sticks, a small salad, or a side of steamed veggies. Drink water or unsweetened iced tea to quench your thirst.

Hamburger Alternatives

You might be tempted to try a burger alternative to make your meal more healthy. A white turkey burger, a chicken burger or a meat alternative (like a soy burger) is sometimes lower in calories in a burger.

A Boca Veggie Burger, for example, provides about 124 calories (a little less than half the amount in a ground-beef patty). But calorie counts aren’t always lower. For example, if a turkey burger is made with the fattiest parts of the bird (dark meat and skin), then the calorie count may not be much lower than a beef burger.

If you love a juicy burger but want to cut back significantly on calories, make a fresh mushroom burger instead. Roast a portobello mushroom cap (conveniently shaped like a burger patty) and place it on a whole wheat bun. Add a single slice of cheese if you’d like, along with tomato, lettuce, and pickles, and you’ve got a healthier burger that is delicious and satisfying.

The calories in a burger are not really much of an issue as long as you remain physically active in life or you regularly perform fitness exercise. Like any other food, eating hamburgers should simply be in moderation. What you should do is to quit worrying about your calorie intake completely. Over worrying is even more dangerous to your health. And secondly, you are meant to enjoy life so you should stop restricting yourself with too much worry and just enjoy the best things that life can offer like the juicy hamburger.

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