Can a Cheeseburger Be Included
First, let's begin by breaking down the Food Groups contained in a cheeseburger:
- Cheese from the Dairy Food Group
- Meat from the Protein Food Group
- Tomato, Lettuce, Pickles, Onions from the Vegetable Food Group
- Buns from the Grain Food Group
WOW! The cheeseburger is created with foods from every food group except the Fruit Food Group. Marry your cheeseburger with a serving of your favorite fruit and you can dance at the wedding.
But (oh, that's a naughty word that sounds like a cranky goat at times, doesn't it?) the cheeseburger or hamburger combination also has wide room for personal interpretation.
While some individuals enjoy their cheeseburger or hamburger best with a dab of mustard, otherslike it plastered with mayo. Instantly, that can take that healthy bite from basically zero to 200 calories in a flash!
The meat is another tricky area. Fatty meat not only cooks down into hockey-puck size, it also can contain double the calories of extra lean beef.
And when the beef is traded for ground turkey to create tasty turkey burgers, the calories and fat grams can sink even lower. But of course, not everyone enjoys turkey burger and there are times in life when only a hamburger or cheeseburger will do.
As to the vegetables, it's almost impossible to go astray when one is picking and choosing from the Vegetable Food Group. It's only when oil, batter and 'butter offerings' are added when Weight Gain Concerns become perked.
The bun - again, hard to go astray with a good looking, fresh set of buns.
The Calorie-Kicker comes in the form of the size of the bun and the recipe used to create the bun. Who says size doesn't matter?
And toasting the buns with the use of butter or margarine may create a tasty greasy cheeseburger, but those buttery buns can translate to bigger body buns. And no, you don't want that. In fact, the goal is to bring those body buns down to size, right?
As to The Big Cheese, calories can vary from 40 calories per slice to an excess of 140 calories or more. Yikes, that's a huge variance, isn't it?
The Protein - Shop for the leanest ground beef available because as mentioned above, you can slash calories almost in half by making this simple choice.
- Three ounces of a typical frozen beef patty contains about 251 calories and 18.56 fat grams.
- Three ounces of 70% lean ground beef contains about 230 calories and 15.18 fat grams.
- Three ounces of 95% lean ground beef contains about 139 calories and 5.05 fat grams - about half the calories and two-thirds less fat than a frozen beef patty or 70% lean ground beef.
For our low calorie cheeseburger recipe, we opted for the extra lean ground beef for 139 calories. And we sprinkled on a bit of salt and a lot of pepper, because we love pepper, particularly ground black pepper.
The Bun - Check the package labels, opting for the bun lowest in calories. Opting for whole grain buns can up the nutritional values in your hamburger. Buns range terrifically in calories.
While reduced calorie versions can contain 80 calories, big-big buns can contain 3-4 times the amount of calories. For our low calorie cheeseburger recipe, we opted for 120 calorie whole grain buns.
The Big Cheese - Again, check those labels and opt for the cheese lowest in calories. For our low calorie cheeseburger recipe, we opted for 60 calorie per slice, low fat mozzarella cheese which happens to melt nicely.
The following low calorie recipe for a cheeseburger contains about 350 calories:
Prepare 3 ounces of extra lean meat on the grill, or on the stove top in a pan, or under the broiler - or use your favorite cooking mode. But (there's that naughty word again) don't reach for any additional oil. To prevent sticking, use zero calorie cooking spray instead. If you would like to add seasonings or other no-to-low calorie options to your burger, go for it!
When meat is done, top with cheese and of course, it should melt quite quickly. Next, transfer to the buns. If you must toast them, trying doing such using butter-flavored cooking spray in place of margarine or butter. And certainly, warm your buns if you prefer before adding the hamburger patty.
We topped our burger with Miracle Whip LIGHT salad dressing (20 calories). Using regular yellow mustard will save even more calories. Our vegetables for our cheeseburger were a few onion slices, a leaf of lettuce and three slices of tomato.
When dining away from home, there are several great fast food options when it comes to hamburgers. They may be smaller than our tasty Dynamite Diet Burger, but they are delicious and keep calories in check.
The following is a short list of options. When choosing, it's important to give consideration to both calories and fat grams:
Burger King Hamburger (the regular, small burger) - 333 calories and 14.73 fat grams
McDonalds Hamburger (again, the small burger) - 265 calories and 9.75 fat grams
Wendy's Single Hamburger - 464 calories, 23.11 fat grams
Wendy's Jr. Hamburger - 284 calories, 10.24 fat grams
Wendy's Jr. Cheeseburger - 330 calories, 14.84 fat grams
Dairy Queen Homestyle Burger - 350 calories and 14 fat grams
Dairy Queen Homestyle Cheeseburger - 400 calories and 18 fat grams
Carl's Cheeseburger - 350 calories and 16 fat grams
Carl's Hamburger - 310 calories and 12 fat grams
A & W Kids Hamburger - 420 calories and 22 fat grams
Sonic Jr. Hamburger - 320 calories and 16 fat grams
Sonic Jr. Cheeseburger - 380 calories and 21 fat grams
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