Gabriel Woods
Published by Gabriel Woods
Last Updated On: June 19, 2022

Hamburger is the first thing many people think of when you mention American cuisine. Veggie, burger, cheeseburger, beef, and bacon… the options are endless. But, how much protein does hamburger meat have?

I’m a huge burger lover. I always have some in the freezer ready to be grilled. I’ve been eating hamburgers all my life, so I wanted to check how healthy they are.

I consulted a nutritionist expert and checked what the online data says. Here’s how much protein a hamburger has.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • Hamburger meat is rich in protein. The serving size of 3oz has 21g of protein.
  • Hamburger meat is also very rich in saturated fats, which are unhealthy.
  • There are several benefits to eating hamburger meat.

Protein in Hamburger Meat

A half eaten close up shot of a hamburger

Hamburger meat is usually ground beef, and ground beef is rich in protein. 3oz of cooked lean ground beef has 21g of protein [1]. If you have a double pattie burger, you’ll get about 40g of protein. This is from meat alone.

Hamburgers also have buns. 1.5oz bun has about 4g of protein [2]. Veggies have protein as well. For example, one lettuce leaf, some onion, tomato, and a spoon of mayo only have 1g of protein combined.

However, protein also comes from cheese. 1oz slice of Swiss cheese has about 7.6g of protein, cheddar has 7g, and American cheese has 5g of protein [3] [4] [5].

Here’s how much protein different kinds of ground beef have [6]:

  • 95% lean: 24.19g
  • 90% lean: 22.60g
  • 85% lean: 21g
  • 80% lean: 19.40g
  • 75% lean: 17.81g
  • 70% lean: 16.22g

Saturated Fat in Hamburger Meat

Hamburger patties being grilled

Many calories in ground beef come from fat. 3oz of 85% lean ground beef has 12g of total fat, out of which 4.5g are saturated fat [8]. Unfortunately, this is the bad kind of fat. Saturated fat can lead to heart diseases, increased cholesterol, and other cardiovascular diseases.

You should limit saturated fat intake to under 10% of total energy. Ideally, it should be 5% to 6% of daily calorie intake. So, if you eat recommended 2,000 calories a day, you should eat less than 20g of saturated fat, ideally no more than 13g.

The good news is that not all fats in hamburger meat are unhealthy fats. 3oz serving size of 85% lean ground meat has 6g of monounsaturated fat and 0,4g of polyunsaturated fat.

“Hamburgers should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. Use a food thermometer to be sure they have reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F. If you’re cooking turkey burgers, they should be cooked to 165 °F.”

- USDA

There are several ways in which you can lower the amount of saturated fat in your hamburger meat. If you prepare hamburger meat with vegetable oil, you can avoid having too much saturated fat.

Plus, you’ll have juicy meat. Generally, a good way to control how much saturated fat you intake is to go for leaner beef cuts. Also, cut down on mayo and cheese.

Hamburger Meat Health Benefits

Close up shot of a hamburger

Hamburger meat has several benefits, such as:

  • Builds cells — Ground beef is full of proteins, which help the body build bones and muscles and improves skin and blood quality.
  • Boosts the immune system — Ground beef is full of vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and cobalamin. These vitamins can’t be stored in the body, but you have to consume them through food, and they help boost the immune system.
  • Boosts iron — Our bodies need heme and non-heme iron for red blood cells. Heme iron is found in animal proteins and helps boost iron which staves off anemia.
  • Increases hormones — Ground beef is rich in niacin and selenium, which boost hormone production and help thyroid function.

FAQs

How Much Protein Is in a 4 Oz Hamburger?

4 oz hamburger has 17,81g of protein [9].

What Kind of Meat Gives the Most Protein?

Turkey breast gives the most protein.

Protein in Hamburger: Final Thoughts

Hamburger meat is a great source of protein. However, it’s also a large source of saturated fats, which can cause several health issues, such as cardiovascular diseases.

You should go for lean ground beef, as it has fewer fats and it’s healthy. Also, be careful with the ingredients you put in your burger. Mayo and cheese are among the biggest sources of saturated fat, and they don’t have a lot of protein.

If you’re looking for high-quality, delicious burgers, look no further than ButcherBox - a meat delivery service that produces premium meat products, antibiotic and hormone-free. Their burgers are clean and robust in taste with only 20% fat and a whopping 80% of meat. The best part is that the company will deliver the boxes straight to your door for free.


References:

  1. https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/nutrition/ground-beef,5418/
  2. https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/nutrition/hamburger-buns,493506/
  3. https://www.nutritionix.com/i/usda/cheese-swiss-1-slice-1-oz/513fceb375b8dbbc21000088
  4. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=76&contentid
  5. https://www.nutritionix.com/i/usda/american-cheese-1-slice-1-oz/513fceb375b8dbbc21
  6. https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/food/ground-beef/protein
  7. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_
  8. https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/nutrition/ground-beef,5418/
  9. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid

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