Hamburger carb counts vary depending on what's in the burger and how it is cooked. Plus, there are more carbs in a cheeseburger with no bun than there are in a bun-free hamburger due to the carbohydrates provided by cheese.
You can lower hamburger carb counts by ordering your burger without a bun or swapping the bread bun for an iceberg lettuce wrap or another low-carb option like collard greens. You could also eat the burger patty on a bed of dark, leafy greens to add more vitamins to your meal.
Carbs in a Burger
The number of carbs in a burger depends on the ingredients of the burger patty, any toppings you use and whether or not you eat your burger with a bun. In general, meat does not have carbohydrates. However, depending on the patty, there could be ingredients or fillers that increase the carb count.
The carbs in meatless burgers from from brands like Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat are generally higher than the carbs found in a meat burger — and Harvard Health Publishing says that these options can be high in saturated fats too.
In many cases, the hamburger carb count is zero. According to the USDA, one 1/4-pound beef patty provides 195 calories, over 19 grams of protein, almost 13 grams of fat and zero grams of carbohydrates. A medium-sized turkey patty provides 121 calories, 16 grams of protein, over 6 grams of fat and zero grams of carbs.
Read more: The Best Way to Grill a Frozen Burger
Restaurants can also provide no-carb burgers. A Five Guys hamburger patty with no bun provides 302 calories, zero grams of carbs, 17 grams of fat and 18 grams of protein (if you add a bun, that would provide 240 calories and 39 grams of carbs).
When eating out, you may again find that veggie burgers and meat replacement patties have higher carb counts. For example, the Shake Shack Veggie Shack burger, served in a lettuce wrap, provides 310 calories and 31 grams of carbs.
Carbs in a Cheeseburger
The carbs in a cheeseburger with no bun depend on the contents of the burger patty and how much cheese is used in the recipe.
At McDonald's, there are 9 grams of carbs in a cheeseburger with no bun if you order the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, compared to just 6 grams without cheese. This also provides 360 calories and 25 grams of protein. At In-N-Out, a cheeseburger with onion served protein style — meaning with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun — provides 330 calories, 11 grams of carbs, 25 grams of fat and 18 grams of protein.
To ensure the lowest possible number of carbs in a cheeseburger with no bun, try making your meal at home while paying careful attention to the nutritional data of your ingredients. You can prepare the burger patty without any breading or added carbs, use a low-carb cheese and wrap the patty in iceberg lettuce or a portobello mushroom "bun."
When making a burger at home, be sure to follow the best practices for food safety. According to FoodSafety.gov, ground beef and ground turkey can be kept in the refrigerator for one to two days and in the freezer for three to four months.
- Shake Shack: "Nutritional Information"
- McDonald's: "Nutrition Calculator"
- Five Guys: " Nutrition & Allergen Information"
- USDA: "Beef, Ground"
- USDA: "Turkey, Ground"
- In-N-Out: "Nutrition Information"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Impossible and Beyond: How Healthy Are These Meatless Burgers?"
- FoodSafety.gov: "Cold Food Storage Chart"