Don Gorske of Fond du Lac has been in the news lately because he will soon be eating his 25,000th Big Mac. I work with Don’s brother so I have a bit more insight into him than you hear on the news but the basic fact remains: he lives on Big Macs. He eats 2 Big Macs with a large Coke every day, and that’s about it. Calorie wise, it is low at 1,490, most men should eat at least 2,000 calories a day. However, he is also taking in huge amounts of saturated fat, sodium and sugar and very little fiber or essential nutrients. This is not a recommended diet for a normal person and Don is certainly not normal in many ways!
Speaking of Big Mac’s- May is National Burger Month! I love burgers but after watching the movie “Food, Inc.,” I’m a little skeptical of what passes for hamburger these days. You might want to consider spending a bit more for grass fed beef or buffalo. Both have more protein and less fat than regular ground beef.
As far as preparation methods- a new study shows that the George Foreman grill really does work to eliminate fat. In fact, in an 80/20 burger it can reduce up to 42% of fat, about 89 calories each. To have an even leaner burger, use 90/10/ (90% meat to 10% fat), though this can get dry.
There are lots of option for low-cal, healthy toppings:
- Lettuce or dark leafy greens
- Salsas ( a great alternative to ketchup)
- Fruit or vegetable relishes
- Barbeque or steak sauce (can be high in sugar/calories so use sparingly)
- Fruit (I love pineapple on a burger)
- Guacamole or avacado slices
Notice- there is no cheese on the list- if you must have cheese, go for a fat free or low fat variety. I prefer Swiss as it is lower in both fat and sodium.
The bun adds a huge number of calories to your burger but you have a few options:
>go without the bun. A no-bread friend of mine uses big romaine lettuce leaves in place of bread for everything. I happen to like the bun so let’s move to some other options:
>Look for a whole grain light bun. Village Hearth and Healthy Life brands are both good choices
> Sandwich thins are only 100 calories and will work if you don’t pile many toppings on your burger
>Make it an open-faced burger and use only the bottom bun
Even if you make a “healthy” burger, the sides can kill you! Stay away from fries, onion rings, chips, etc. Opt for corn on the cob, fruit salad, roasted sweet potatoes, grilled vegetables, or baked beans (watch the sugar content) instead.
Mmmm..all this talk of burgers is making me hungy. Maybe I’ll find Don and see if he will share a Big Mac with me!