Big Bad For You Bacon Burger
We Serve What People Want
Even with the growing diabetes and obesity epidemic in American, fast food, drive-ins, diners, and casual restaurants continue offering foods high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Their menus are loaded with foods people want instead of what they need. If a majority of their customers demanded healthier foods restaurants would offer them to compete and stay in business.
Why do so many people eat foods that are bad for them? There are many reasons. A few are:
- An abundance of unhealthy foods at relatively low prices.
- Billions of marketing dollars to convince people they need these foods.
The Big Bad Bacon Burger
Take for example an advertisement by a national chain promoting their big bad bacon burger. What American male can resist a hamburger that is both big and bad? After all, it isn’t an infamous a widow maker burger. Or is it?
Their 21 oz. (600 g), yes 1 pound 5 ounce hamburger has:
- Two hamburger patties
- 4 strips of bacon
- A blend of four cheeses
- Red onion
- BBQ sauce
Grand total of 1,495 calories (68 percent of the calories, 1014, are from fat ), 48 grams of saturated fat, 2,026 grams of sodium and zero fiber. And that’s before you add fried potatoes and a drink which can easy add up to a days worth of calories and more than a days worth of saturated fat in one meal.
All Foods In Moderation
I enjoy an occasional cheeseburger and I do emphasize occasional and have emphasized enjoying all foods in moderation for years.
Mediterranean diets are low in red meats which includes pork. Yes, pork. It is not the other white meat as has been so heavily promoted. Pork producers want you to believe it is as health as chicken but it only applies to very leans cuts. Bacon, ribs and some pork chops do not fall into the lean, healthy category.
Meat is an excellent source of complete protein, but it is not the healthiest protein due to high levels of saturated fat that can raise blood cholesterol and clog arteries. The healthiest proteins come from fish and legumes.
A daily diet of foods like big bad bacon burgers and similar burgers and junk foods contributes to diabetes and heart disease by increasing the number of overweight and obese people in a sedentary society.
Hambergers Aren’t Evil
A hamburger can be a good source of protein when you limit patty portion size to 3 to 4 ounces (90 – 100 grams) and use 80 percent or leaner ground beef. Most restaurants use 80/20 ground beef having a 20 percent fat to lean ratio. Ground chuck falls into that category. It produces moist, flavorful burgers. But unless you like your burger patties well done (170°F), you must grind your own beef to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination. Do not let the supermarket butcher grind your roast or steak. Although they clean the grinder daily, there is a risk bacteria from grinding meat can contaminate your meat. Buy an inexpensive manual meat grinder, and grinder your own beef.
A Healthier Hamburger
For hamburgers with the best flavor grind chuck steak or roast.
Go heavy on the tomato, onion and lettuce. They are all low calorie.
Go light on the cheese.
Limit or omit bacon.
Save bacon for breakfast or for baked or charro beans.
A cheese burger made with 4-ounces of 80 percent lean beef and one ounce of cheese provides between 450 to 500 calories including the bun (100-150 calories). That’s 1,000 fewer calories than Mr. Big Bad Bacon Burger.