You better believe it! A burger need not be an unhealthy meal option.
We all know that long rides leave us meat-lovers gagging for a lovingly prepared burger to be gorged upon… well, I am here to let you know that it is very possible to incorporate red meat into your cycling diet.
On the greatest food invention known to man, the hamburger, who better to know the finer points than those from the US of A. The claim that red meat is a wonderful source of nutrients which competitive cyclists often lack was made by a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. It’s packed with ride-fueling vitamin B12 (which helps metabolize energy), heme iron (which transports oxygen to muscles) and zinc (which bolsters the immune system). Good sources include beef, pork, lamb and (yes, even…) goat – anything that’s red or pink when it’s raw.
It is important to note, however, that processed meats such as bacon, sausage and cold meats has been shown in studies to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. No such increase in risk has been shown in the consumption of unprocessed beef, pork, and lamb. This indicates that lean beef can, in fact, be part of a heart-healthy diet.
Grass-fed is best
Most commercially raised cattle eat grain, which accelerates muscle growth, yields more meat and improves marbling (which also ups its saturated fat content). It’s also higher in arachidonic acid, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
Grass-fed meat, however, has a healthier fatty acid profile, a lower overall fat content and is higher in cancer-fighting antioxidants such as glutathione and omega-3s. It may even guard against food-borne illness. Cattle that feed on grass instead of grain are far less likely to spread E. coli bacteria.
Burgers better than salads – surely not?
There are a number of reasons to consider a burger superior to the salad. Here are some of them:
- Burgers without toppings can be tasty, unlike salads – A good burger tastes great as it is. Salads need dressings and toppings to be acceptable. Dressings are very often pre-made and often are full of sugar and refined oils. Also, popular toppings aren’t the healthiest – oil soaked bread crumbs, bacon, and fried onions.
- A good burger gives you plenty of energy, protein and a lot of fibre; all of these help you feel fuller for longer. Although salads do contain a lot of vegetation which carry vitamins, minerals, and fibre, the problem is that they often lack overall energy and protein.
- Healthy = healthy: A burger made with grass-fed organic beef, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and a Portobello mushroom instead of a roll = a salad with plenty of leaves, pieces of fish, avocado, nuts, and olive oil.
ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE FROM A BRU WHOSE PRIMARY PURPOSE IS TO AMPLIFY THE GOODNESS OF THE HAMBURGER. ALL CONTENT WRITTEN IS TRUE AT THE TIME OF WRITING. PLEASE NOTE THAT I CANNOT POSSIBLY BE ABLE TO BE A PROFESSIONAL IN BOTH MEDICINE AND BURGER EATING, SO I HAVE HAD TO RELY ON INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS FOR FACTUAL CONTENT.