Why are burgers seen as extremely unhealthy, despite all the ingredients in a burger being seemingly healthy?
Answered by: Anthony Morrison
First, I want to dispel this notion that any foods are inherently “unhealthy” (except items that are solid sugar - we could objectively agree they are unhealthy). Generally speaking, you need to be worrying about calories in vs. calories out.
However, by popular opinion, a burger is usually considered unhealthy for (3) primary reasons that I can figure:
Burgers are associated with low-quality American Fast Food and are often accompanied by french fries and sugary soft drinks. Fast food is associated with obesity primarily because of…
A trifecta of all the macro-nutrients. Burgers are a well proportioned combination of fats, carbs, and protein, and as such, they are incredibly calorie dense and diverse in flavor - this means you can eat a lot of it. A regular whopper is 660 calories. As a 6′-1″ 180lb person, I know for a fact I can pretty easily put down (3) of them in a sitting if I was so inclined. Now, if I tried to eat a 2000 calorie meal at one sitting where one of the macros was largely missing - like a burger w/o a bun? It would be pretty difficult. You get bored when your taste buds don’t have all 3 (which is coincidentally why most diets that restrict 1 of the macros help you lose weight).
Burgers typically contain quite a bit of saturated fats and back in the 1960’s those fats were lambasted by studies funded by the sugar industry Sugar Industry Funded 1960s Harvard Research That Blamed Heart Disease on Fat | KQED. As far as I can tell, the jury is still out on saturated fats and heart disease. I’m not saying saturated fats are good - I’m just saying it’s quite possible that they’re not so bad.