Just how big is your burger? Di­eti­cians rec­om­mend 85 to 115 grams per serv­ing; restau­rants of­ten serve 170 or more grams.

Runner's World South Africa - - Burger -

Beef Os­trich Lamb Pork

Pork mince doesn’t al­ways have its fat per­cent­age la­belled, but it ranges from 72 to 96 per cent lean. Loin is your best bet if you can get it, with just seven grams of fat per 115-gram serv­ing.

Beef mince is a great source of iron, se­le­nium, and B vi­ta­mins. Lean mince is bet­ter for you – though the leaner the meat, the less juicy and flavour­ful your burger. Re­gard­less of cut, you’ll get about 20 grams of pro­tein, says Dr Chris­tine Rosen­bloom, a sports nu­tri­tion ex­pert. A 70 per cent 115-gram serv­ing has 20 grams of pro­tein, 14 grams of fat, and 880 kilo­joules, com­pared with six grams of fat and 630 kilo­joules for 95 per cent.


Any salmon you buy in SA (be­sides Cape/ geel­bek) is prob­a­bly im­ported; ‘ fresh’ usu­ally means frozen, then thawed. Thanks to farms we do have trout (very sim­i­lar to salmon) year­round. Wild, farmed and tinned are all ex­cel­lent sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but wild is leaner and higher in zinc, cal­cium, and en­durance-boost­ing iron.


110 grams of chicken mince has 24 grams of pro­tein and just 3 grams of fat. It uses dark and light meat, which adds some fat but also more iron and zinc – two nu­tri­ents run­ners need for a healthy im­mune sys­tem. (Avoid minced chicken breast, which has al­most zero fat, mak­ing for a very dry burger.)

A tad sweeter than beef with a slightly gamey flavour, os­trich is very lean with less than 2 per cent fat per 100 grams. Nu­tri­ent-wise, it’s rich in pro­tein and iron. Iron plays a key role in the pro­duc­tion of healthy, oxy­gen-car­ry­ing red blood cells.

Rich in pro­tein, zinc, iron, and vi­ta­min B12, it also has five times more in­flam­ma­tion-re­duc­ing omega-3 fatty acids and al­pha linoleic acid (ALA) than beef. Can’t find pack­aged lamb mince? Ask the butcher for minced lamb shoul­der.


Frozen veg­gie burg­ers are ideal for a quick meal, says Rosen­bloom. But if you have time, make your own and pack them with fresh veg­eta­bles, herbs, and whole grains. Veg­gie burg­ers made with mush­rooms of­fer the meati­est tex­ture and flavour, while bean­based pat­ties (like black and soya) pack plenty of pro­tein. You can also toss in nuts for ex­tra plant pro­tein and healthy fat.

The other white meat is an ex­cel­lent source of se­le­nium, to help pro­tect against ox­ida­tive stress, as well as B vi­ta­mins, es­sen­tial for metabolis­ing carbs, pro­tein, and fats.

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