How To Make A Friendly Hamburger Or Hot Dog, By RD

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IIf there’s one menu item that becomes a staple as the days get longer and temperatures rise, it’s definitely grilled meat. Whether it’s a salmon steak, a burger (or veggie burger) or a hot dog, summer is all about outdoor cooking and protein sandwiched between buns. And while grilling is certainly a healthy cooking method, relying solely on charred meat isn’t necessarily ideal for maintaining a well-balanced gut microbiome.

Fortunately, there are a few easy adjustments you can make to your grilled-slash-alt-meat menu that can result in a meal that will stimulate (and even soothe) your digestive system. From pickled toppings and probiotic-rich condiments to fiber-filled blends for burgers, dogs, and other forms of grilled protein, it’s not hard to give your summer cooking menu a true-to-life sparkle. intestines. We’ve spoken to a few dietitians to help figure out how to improve roasted protein so it’s better for your digestive system.

How to Make a Gut-Friendly Burger or Hot Dog, According to Dietitians

1. Add vegetables as a garnish or as a mixture to your burger.

“Any form of veg will make a great gut-safe burger filling because the fiber in vegetables helps feed good gut bacteria,” says dietitian Krista Linares, RDN. “This includes sliced ​​onions, tomato, lettuce, bell pepper or avocado slices. “

Vegetables can also be mixed directly into your patty if you choose to make your own burgers with ground beef, fish, or turkey. This method allows you to easily increase the fiber, lean protein, vitamins and minerals content of your patty.

Dietitian Keri Gans, RDN especially recommends chopping mushrooms in your burger. “Ground mushrooms pair perfectly with ground beef and add a good amount of fiber and other nutrients to your gut-friendly burger,” she notes. “Fiber can help prevent constipation and normalize bowel movements.” Adding vegetables can also add more body and substance to your burger, creating more depth of flavor and texture.

Of course, you can also add a wide range of mixes beyond vegetables to your patties. Quinoa is a particularly popular option for the intestines of people looking to add a bit of nutty flavor and fiber to their burgers, as well as more protein. Eggs can also be used as a binder in burgers, especially if you plan to add a number of spices.

2. Consider a fermented garnish.

“Sauerkraut and relish are fermented foods that can help increase probiotics and postbiotics in your gut. These gut-friendly forms of bacteria balance your microbiome and help maintain a healthy digestive system. They can also strengthen your immune system and help fight infections, ”Gans explains. She also recommends slicing fermented dill pickles on your burger or adding pickled veggies to your hot dog for the same benefits.

If you’re looking for a delicious Korean-inspired version, Linares suggests adding kimchi as a burger or hot dog topping to help support healthy gut bacteria as well. While kimchi is traditionally made with fermented radish and cabbage, you can try fermenting any of your favorite vegetables (like onions, cucumbers, or green beans) in kimchi spice to suit what your palette prefers the most.

3. Go for a vegetable burger.

Black bean and lentil burgers are delicious, fiber-filled alternatives to meatier-tasting plant-based patties, like Beyond or Impossible. Vegan soy or tofu-based hot dogs are also tasty options for those looking to cut back on animal products. And given the health benefits associated with many of these meat alternatives, nutritionists say they’re worth adding to your menu every now and then, even if you’re not a vegan or vegetarian.

“Vegan burgers and hot dogs can be healthy choices, as they’re often high in fiber and protein thanks to the beans or soy they’re made from,” says Linares. “Look for an option that has both protein and fiber, like a black bean burger, if you’re looking for a more nutrient-dense option. “

That said, she cautions that given the sheer number of herbal products these days, not all of them are necessarily better for you than their alternatives. In fact, as Linares notes, “eating a regular beef burger can be a similar choice, from a health standpoint,” especially if you buy high quality, sustainably raised, grass-fed beef. that you know how to dress yours with gut-friendly fillings. listed above. “Some vegan options are very high in sodium and surprisingly can contain very few vegetables, which means minimal fiber and other beneficial nutrients,” Gans explains. “The choice can be boiled down to a preference based on sustainability and to move generally towards a more plant-based diet.” Be sure to read the nutrition and ingredient labels on your burger or alternative dog to confirm that the brand you are buying is high in fiber, protein, and minimally processed.

Final answer? If you’re looking for ways to increase the health benefits of your favorite grilled foods, sometimes just pairing your meat with good, old-fashioned veggies – better yet, fermented veggies – will do the trick.

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