Ground beef hamburgers in American date back to the late 1800s, though no one is certain who actually made the first hamburger and bun. The most popular story is that the hamburger was first sold by a Texan at the 1904 St. Louis World Fair. Since then burgers have evolved to include different types of ground meat, but no matter what the ingredients they’re a good source of minerals and vitamins.
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Hamburgers consist of ground meat that is shaped in the form of a round patty, cooked and served on a bun. The classic hamburger is made from ground beef, but any type of ground meat can be used. To adequately compare hamburgers from different sources, this article reports nutrition information for ground beef and turkey patties that weigh 100 grams. A 100g patty is slightly larger than the average 86g regular-sized patty and smaller than a 137g large patty.
A patty of 80 percent lean ground chuck contains 271 calories, 25.75 g of protein, and 17.82 g of total fat. It provides no carbohydrates, dietary fiber or sugars. The problem area is the fat content. It has 91 mg of cholesterol, which represents 30 percent of the recommended daily value (DV). It also contains 34 percent of the total DV of saturated fats.
Hamburgers are a great source of vitamin B12, providing 45 percent of the DV. They’re a good source of niacin (25 percent DV), vitamin B6 (18 percent DV) and pantothenic acid (7 percent DV). Other vitamins found in one serving of hamburger, with amounts ranging from 2 to 3 percent DV, are folate, vitamin E, vitamin K and thiamine. Hamburgers also provide eight international units of vitamin D. The only major vitamins you won’t find in a typical hamburger are vitamins C and A.
Hamburgers are a rich source of minerals, especially zinc and selenium. They provide 6.25 mg of zinc, which represents 42 percent of the DV, and 21.5 micrograms of selenium. Even though that’s a small amount of selenium, it equals 31 percent of the DV. Hamburgers are a good source of phosphorus (19 percent DV), iron (14 percent DV) and potassium (9 percent DV). Other essential minerals include sodium, copper and magnesium (3 to 5 percent DV).
While they are high in unhealthy fats, hamburgers also provide “good” fat with 48 milligrams of omega-3 and 411 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids. You’ll also receive 80.8 milligrams of choline, which is essential for nerve transmission and proper absorption of fats.
Fast Food Burgers
A typical 100g fast food hamburger provides 11g less protein, 111 milligrams less potassium and only half the choline and vitamin B12. However, it contains seven times more folate and five times more calcium. Unfortunately, fast food patties provide 440 mg of sodium, which is 17 percent higher than a plain patty. Hamburgers prepared in fast food restaurants also provide carbohydrates and sugars that are not found in plain meat.
According to the USDA nutrition information, with a few exceptions, ground turkey burgers contain about the same nutrition as a hamburger. The turkey burger has 36 fewer calories, 4.7 fewer g of total fat, and 1.6 g more protein. The two are significantly different in the amount of healthy fat they provide. Turkey burgers contain 200 mg of omega-3 and 2,910 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.