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Five Healthy Burger Alternatives

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With Memorial Day Weekend just around the corner, it may be tempting to heat up the grill and cook up a giant burger. However, the holiday also marks the start of bathing suit season. Whether you are trying to lose a few or are looking for some interesting alternatives to another boring burger, here are some healthier options that will satisfy just like your double bacon cheeseburger.

1. Buffalo or Bison Burger Sometimes nothing is going to cut it but red meat. Buffalo and bison meat are a great alternative to burgers because they are both lean and protein-packed as well as lower in calories than beef or pork. They are both also nutrient-dense, meaning they provide lots of nutrients compared to the amount of calories. This Greek bison burger recipe uses feta and spinach to help combat any moisture issues and tops everything off with a brightly flavored yogurt sauce.

2. Tuna Burger Tuna is also a nutrient-dense food that provides a good supply of omega-3 fatty acids, which is important because our bodies need omega-3 acids but can't make them. This Thai tuna burger recipe gets its flavor from ginger, cilantro, cumin, green onion and grated carrots.

3. Black Bean Veggie Burger As the standard vegetarian burger choice for quite some time, the black bean burger has evolved in deliciousness since its first incarnation. Black beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein that will help normalize the digestive process, keeping you full and satisfied. This black bean veggie burger recipe has enough kick to make up for the beans' lack of flavor.

4. Portobello Burger Portobello mushrooms, a low-calorie food, were once dismissed as providing little nutrition. Luckily, we now know that Portobellos provide many health benefits, including a good dose of selenium, a necessary micronutrient. Portobellos are also surprisingly meaty and with thoughtful seasoning can satisfy a burger craving. This Asian-inspired soy sauce and balsamic vinegar-marinated Portobello burger recipe provides clean flavors and quick prep time. Or, kick the flavor up a notch with Blue Cheese Portobello burgers.

5. Turkey Burger The issue with most turkey burgers in restaurants is that to get really good flavor you have to salt the turkey within an inch of its life. Whether you believe all the negative press about salt or not, when turkey burger consumption leaves you as puffy as a blimp the next day (see Barnaby's tragically delicious turkey burger), they overdid it. This turkey burger with roasted eggplant manages to be moist, tasty and not over-salted through the use of some interesting ingredients like Marmite.

Though I do not believe there is a truly healthy burger at any restaurant in Houston, I do commend Ruggles Green for its Veggie Nut Burger, Buffalo Burger and Turkey Burger. Aside from the huge portions, these appear to be moderately healthy. And if I am mistaken about that, at least there is the satisfaction of knowing they're made of high-quality ingredients.

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