True enough. Almost any chicken or turkey burger is leaner than one made of “regular” (30% fat) ground beef. Regular ground beef has 230 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat—almost a third of a day’s worth—in a 3 oz. cooked patty. Even so-called lean “10% fat” beef burgers have more saturated fat (4 grams) than the same size chicken or turkey burgers (around 2 grams).
It’s not surprising that poultry has proven healthier than red meat in scientific studies, notes Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “Poultry has better fats than red meats, and eating poultry hasn’t been linked to a higher risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, or diabetes,” he explains.
some good choices
If you want no-added salt, go for Jennie-O Lean Turkey Burger Patties and their surprisingly beef-like flavor. Other mmm-worthy recommendations: Bell & Evans and Weight Watchers Chicken Burgers. We found Applegate’s no-salt-added Organic Turkey Burgers a tad dry.
Jennie-O Extra Lean Seasoned White Turkey Patties and Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers also deserve a shot on your plate. And Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Chicken Burgers wowed taste buds with their onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, and red pepper flakes.
looking for a breaded burger?
Expect the protein in most patties to drop (from roughly 22 grams to 12 grams) and the carbs to climb to about what you’d get in a small (1 oz.) slice of bread (which wouldn’t matter much if people didn’t eat their patties on a hefty bun). That’s largely because the breading replaces some of the chicken with white flour (or corn and/or rice flour in gluten-free breaded patties).
Our breaded recommendations—Applegate Chicken Patties and Trader Joe’s Breaded Chicken Tenderloin Breasts— are crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Yum.
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