08.25.10

40 Healthiest Burgers

Summer grillers, rejoice: Juicy red meat need not be a guilty pleasure. From In-N-Out’s bunless favorite to a 250-calorie McDonald’s offering, The Daily Beast ranks the best of the burgers.

Summer grillers, rejoice: Juicy red meat need not be a guilty pleasure. From In-N-Out’s bunless favorite to a 250-calorie McDonald’s offering, The Daily Beast ranks the best of the burgers. Plus: 40 Burgers That Can Kill You.

For every yin, there is a yang. And for every beef burger that is slathered with three different types of cheese, tangy mayonnaise sauce, ketchup, bacon, eggs, and fried onions, or served atop a donut, there is an equally modest burger. One that doesn’t bust the gut quite so much. A burger sandwich with a mere two beef patties, and a single slice of American cheese. One that may not come with cheese at all, that may, in fact, be a single, simple hamburger.

Gallery: The 40 Healthiest Burgers

Americans have a love-hate relationship with their red meat. While they love to bite into a fat, juicy patty of cooked ground beef, they are becoming increasingly aware of an all-American hamburger’s ill side effects. Excessive hamburger consumption has been linked to everything from global warming to Amazon deforestation to higher rates of asthma in children.

So The Daily Beast decided to take a look at a few burger options that aren’t total waistline killers. To start, we searched 42 popular fast-food and sit-down chains for burgers with 700 or fewer calories. Only 90 burgers fit that criteria—none from sit-down chains, like Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Outback Steakhouse. These 90, relatively healthy burgers were ranked across the four categories available for each eatery: calories, saturated fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. Each burger was ranked within each nutritional category, then the ranking each burger received for each nutritional category was totaled to determine the final ranking. Ties were broken by calorie content.

The Daily Beast presents 40 of the healthy- er burgers in America—and the top spot is claimed by a burger that doesn’t even come with soft buns.