Hamburgers are a staple menu option at almost any fast-food or sit-down restaurant.
At parties and get-togethers, you can almost always expect someone to bring a plate of hamburgers.
Because of their popularity, there are many different types of hamburgers.
All of them, however, use the term “hamburger” to describe them.
If you’re curious about where the name hamburger came from, then you may wonder why hamburgers have the name hamburgers.
After all, the meat in a burger usually comes from a cow and not a pig.
Here’s what you need to know about hamburgers.
Why Are Hamburgers Called Hamburgers?
Hamburgers are called hamburgers because they originate from Hamburg, Germany.
Rather, it gets its name from the origin of the burger.
Hamburg, Germany has the credit for making the modern-day hamburger.
They weren’t the ones who came up with the concept, however.
Traders working with the Russian Baltic provinces discovered that they shredded their meat in a manner called beef tartare today.
They took that concept back with them to Hamburg, Germany where an unknown chef decided to cook the beef in this form.
That chef created the first hamburger.
Since the chef is unknown to history and has never been named its creation, the recipe takes its name from the city of its origin instead.
Where Did Hamburgers Come From?
The earliest traces of pseudo-hamburgers come from the Tartar people.
They were a group of nomadic individuals who primarily lived in central Asia and eastern Europe.
They had a preference for shredding their beef and eating it raw.
To tenderize the meat, they’d place it between their saddles and their horse while riding around.
Eventually, German traders found the Tartars and started to trade with them.
The nomadic people introduced their food to the traders.
They served them shredded beef with some local spices.
They fried the meat or broiled it, then served it.
The traders would take this dish and end up calling it a Hamburg steak.
They brought it back to Germany where it saw some popularity among their own people.
When German immigrants arrived in the United States, they came with this recipe in hand.
Hamburgers, as they became called, started showing up on menus in New York City as far back as the 1880s.
It wasn’t until the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, however, that the modern concept of the burger emerged.
At the World’s Fair, they served the meat between two buns instead of on its own.
White Castle, is the world’s oldest hamburger chain restaurant.
It saw the popularity of the meal and decided to make a new type of restaurant out of it.
Due to its cheap production costs, White Castle was able to produce hamburgers at cheap prices.
This made hamburgers a restaurant-quality food that those who earned a low income could enjoy.
The hamburger also saw another rise in popularity following World War II.
With an increasing number of cars on the road, fast-food restaurants started to grow in number and popularity.
They opened drive-thrus that allowed their diners to drive by and pick up their orders.
Hamburgers, which are easy and fast to make, were a natural choice as a menu item.
McDonald’s opened up around this time, too, in California.
It started as a hamburger fast-food restaurant that promoted cleaner facilities.
These days, it’s hard to find a fast-food restaurant or table-service restaurant that doesn’t serve hamburgers.
What Are Hamburger Patties Made Out Of?
Due to its name, it’s easy to mistake that a traditional hamburger patty uses ham or pork.
That simply is not the case.
A traditional hamburger uses ground beef in its patty.
That said, some chefs choose to add more ingredients to the patty besides ground beef.
Some might throw in some herbs to give the patty some seasoning.
Those who want to cook vegan hamburgers will use portobello mushrooms or ground black beans instead.
Others who want to stay away from beef might use ground pork or chicken to make their patty.
Even turkey patties exist!
The idea behind a burger patty is that the chef grinds up some sort of ingredient and smashes it back together to form a patty.
That patty then gets grilled until it’s ready to eat.
A traditional hamburger, however, will always use beef.
Are Hamburgers Healthy For You?
When eaten in moderation, hamburgers can form a part of a healthy and nutritional meal.
Ideally, you’d want to skip a fast-food restaurant hamburger and either make your own fresh burger or order from a sit-down restaurant.
The biggest health concern with burgers is that they’re made from beef.
Beef meat contains a high amount of saturated fats.
These fats are problematic because they can lead to cardiovascular health problems down the line.
This problem becomes even worse because the traditional way to cook burgers is to fry them in either butter or oil.
Both butter and oil are also high in saturated fats.
You end up with a double-dose of highly saturated and fatty food that can wreak havoc on your arteries.
That said, the hamburger does provide some healthy nutrition.
Here are a few ways that hamburgers are healthy for you.
1. Great Source Of Iron
One of the reasons that burgers are healthy is that they’re a great source of iron.
Iron is an important part of your diet because iron helps carry oxygen to your cells.
Hamburgers contain heme iron which is one of the best types of iron for this task.
You can only obtain heme iron by eating meat from animals or other animal products.
Heme iron takes oxygen that you breathe into your body and distributes it to your cells, tissues, and organs.
Non-heme iron, which is in most vegan products, can do the job as well, except that it isn’t as efficient as heme iron.
The body can absorb around 35% of heme iron, yet it can only absorb around 25% of non-heme iron.
Those who eat a vegan diet tend to either need to take supplements to make up the difference or eat larger meals.
Since iron plays an important role in your health, such as allowing your body’s cells, organs, and tissues to their jobs, getting enough iron into your diet is important.
Without enough iron, you may find it harder to stay awake.
You may find yourself cold even when it’s warm outside.
You also might get sick more often.
Iron deficiency can be a serious problem.
Eating a hamburger now and then can help ensure your iron levels stay healthy.
2. Red Blood Cell Production
Another health benefit that hamburgers provide is the amount of Vitamin B-12 that you receive.
In a single hamburger, you usually get around three milligrams of Vitamin B-12.
The daily recommended amount is around two milligrams.
As such, hamburgers can help you satisfy your daily recommended amount with a single meal.
Vitamin B-12 is an important part of your diet because it helps your body form healthy red blood cells.
It plays a part in red blood cell production.
It also plays an important part in your metabolism, which helps you generate energy.
Without the proper amount of Vitamin B-12 in your diet, your body still produces red blood cells, but those red blood cells have a higher tendency to form irregularly shaped cells.
These cells are less efficient at doing their job, which is to deliver oxygen to the rest of your body.
Without efficient oxygen levels, your cells either cease functioning or struggle to function efficiently.
Since they’re working harder, they’re using up more energy, causing you to feel tired.
They also wear down faster and deteriorate, which means your body ages more.
It’s important to get the right amount of B-12 in your body every day.
Eating a hamburger can help you reach those levels.
There’s no question that hamburgers contain a lot of protein.
A standard four-ounce hamburger has around 30 grams of protein.
The average person needs 2,000 calories a day to function well.
Anything more than that can start to make them gain weight.
Anything less than that deprives their body of nutrients.
When it comes to protein, it’s important to know that it contains calories, too.
Protein has four calories per gram.
Because of that, you usually need around 50 to 175 grams of protein a day to satisfy both your protein needs and to stay under the 2,000-calorie limit.
Clearly, hamburgers can get you very close to the total amount of protein that you need every day.
Protein is another important building block for your body.
It’s best known for its role in building muscle.
Muscle tissue uses protein to build mass.
That’s why athletes and bodybuilders pay close attention to the amount of protein that they’re taking in.
They need to ensure that they eat enough protein to help their bodies produce muscle instead of just trimming fat.
Protein also helps in building the structure of your cells.
Without protein, your cells may not form in the correct shape or configuration.
As a result, they can’t perform their job well.
Their structure might also be weak.
If the structure is weak, then the cell is more likely to become infected or invaded by germs.
Finally, protein is useful for the production of energy.
The body uses carbohydrates and fats as its primary source of energy.
When those sources run out, protein acts as a backup generator to give your body the energy it needs to function.
Hamburgers are an excellent source of protein, which plays an important role in your health.
Why Aren’t Hamburgers Healthy?
Although hamburgers do have a few nutrients that can make a nice meal now and then, they also have a lot of more unhealthy aspects.
For some people, the unhealthy risks of eating too many hamburgers outweigh the minimal health benefits that you do receive with a hamburger.
Here are a few reasons hamburgers aren’t healthy.
1. Weight Gain
There’s no question that, if you eat too many burgers or eat burgers regularly, there’s a good chance that you’re going to see some weight gain.
Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than your body needs.
The average body needs 2,000 calories a day to function well.
Pregnant women need a little more.
Men looking to bodybuild also eat more calories.
However, for the average person, 2,000 calories hit the mark.
The problem with hamburgers is that isn’t the patty alone that causes weight gain.
Hamburgers often come with a lot of different condiments.
Whether it’s ketchup, mayonnaise, onions, cheese, or other condiments, your burger often ends up becoming more than just meat between two pieces of bread.
Each condiment adds to the total number of calories.
There are also burgers that use two patties.
That practically doubles the number of calories that you’re eating.
One of the biggest additions is the buns.
Hamburger buns are notorious for having a lot of calories in them, not to mention the carbohydrates, which turn into sugar in your body.
Taken together, you can sometimes eat as much as 900 calories with a single hamburger meal.
If you’re eating at a restaurant, that doesn’t include your other sides like fries or onion rings.
Eating hamburgers regularly makes it easy to go over the 2,000-calorie mark and start to gain weight.
2. High Cholesterol And Saturated Fats
Another reason hamburgers aren’t healthy is because of the high amount of cholesterol and saturated fats in the meal.
The problem with eating animal-based products like burgers is that they come with cholesterol.
Vegan alternatives use plants, which do not contain cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a problem because it leads to poor heart health.
The same goes for saturated fat.
Together, cholesterol and saturated fat can create a recipe for disaster.
Plaque can form in your blood vessels, which makes it difficult for blood cells to pass through them.
If the plaque grows thick enough, it may close up a blood vessel entirely.
This means that the particular area can no longer receive oxygen or other nutrients through your blood.
This can sometimes lead to a heart attack if the blood vessel returns to the heart.
If someone already suffers from high cholesterol, then eating more hamburgers can make the problem even worse.
Even those with mild cholesterol might find that their numbers spike if they eat hamburgers often.
Eating a vegan alternative or limiting the number of condiments on your burger can help reduce the number of saturated fats and cholesterol that your body takes in.
3. Blood Pressure Escalations
Besides cholesterol and saturated fats, having high blood pressure can also lead to cardiovascular diseases.
The problem with hamburgers is that they contain a lot of sodium.
Sodium causes your blood pressure to spike.
A standard hamburger without any condiments has 258 milligrams of sodium.
That isn’t terrible since the daily recommended amount of sodium is 2,300 milligrams.
However, it’s rare that someone only wants a single patty with nothing else on it.
A double-patty hamburger with mayonnaise has 1,081 milligrams of sodium.
This shows that even adding one other condiment and patty can significantly bump up the amount of sodium that you end up eating.
Keep in mind that this is only the burger, too.
If you’re eating salty fries or other sides along with it, then you’re adding even more sodium to your diet.
Considering this is a single meal, it’s easy to blow past your sodium amount for the day.
Eating hamburgers regularly can make your blood pressure spike.
This increases your chance of having a heart attack.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer identifies processed meat as a carcinogen.
A carcinogen is something that is scientifically proven to cause cancer.
Processed meat covers a lot of different products.
Some of the most common are hot dogs, bacon, hamburgers, ham, sausages, and some deli meats.
Red meats, in particular, are carcinogens.
Unfortunately, the meat made to use hamburgers is a red meat that’s ground up into a patty.
The studies that looked at red meat discovered that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day led to an increase of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.
Fifty grams of meat equates to about four strips of bacon or one hot dog.
A hamburger is more than 50 grams of processed meat.
If you eat hamburgers regularly, then you’re also increasing your risk of developing cancer.
The name hamburger doesn’t have anything to do with the meat that makes this delicious dish.
Rather, it got its name from Hamburg, Germany, where the recipe originated.
Hamburgers come in many variations with people looking towards vegan alternatives to counteract some of the unhealthy consequences of eating beef patties.