There are a ton of ways to make burgers healthier, but apparently no one has shared that information with our president.
Though this is a slight improvement over the president’s fast-food-centric diet ― Trump’s typical McDonald’s order while on the campaign trail was two Big Macs, two Filet-o-Fish and a chocolate milkshake ― there are far more nutritious tweaks that can be made to a classic burger.
Cutting back on buns is a good first step. Bread, especially the white bread that most burger buns are made of, is made of simple carbohydrates that are quickly used by our body, causing our blood sugar and insulin levels to rise quickly. This leads to intense cravings later in the day and other negative health effects later in life, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
More nutritious results can be achieved by swapping the bun with leafy greens, which is now pretty common practice. But you can get creative and sandwich your burgers with other ingredients like nutrient-dense portobello mushrooms or sweet potatoes, or simply eat your burger patty with a big green salad.
But if you’re wholeheartedly trying to make a burger healthier, the first step is replacing the beef patty. A 2017 report concluded that the more red meat we eat, the greater our chances are of dying from one of eight diseases: cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, kidney disease and liver disease.
Think about replacing your beef patty with proteins that contain less saturated fat. Wild-caught salmon is a great option, loaded with brain-boosting omega-3 fats and healthy protein. Or skip the meat altogether and go with a vegetarian option made from something like protein-rich quinoa or black beans.
Below, we’ve got five healthy bun swaps that’ll help you skip the carb-heavy buns: portobello buns, tomato buns, sweet potato buns, leafy green buns and no buns at all. A couple of the patties are made from beef, but the others are made from healthy alternatives like salmon and quinoa.