The 7 Healthiest Burger Toppings, Ranked

Healthiest Burger Toppings Ranked

Image by mbg Creative

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Summer is all about getting your grill on, and while you're likely aware of the health implications of what you're grilling (we recommend going grass-fed or high-quality plant-based!), you may not have considered the health effects of what goes on your burger. From gut-healing to inflammation-fighting, burger toppings can pack in a ton of benefits. Here are the top healthy toppings, ranked:

7. Mayonnaise

While classic mayonnaise wouldn't find a place on the list, the new breed of avocado-based mayos make the cut. Avocado oil has as much healthy monounsaturated fatty acids as olive oil but even more anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids. We love Primal Kitchen's version, and Chosen Foods even makes a vegan option.

6. Cheese

Cheese is a classic burger topper, and while it's not at the top of the list, it deserves a spot on it if you choose the right type—grass-fed, pasture-raised cheese. This type of cheese is rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a healthy fat that fights against cancer, diabetes, and weight gain. We like Organic Valley and Applegate for their widely available options.

Article continues below

5. Ketchup

Ketchup is a classic topper, and while it might not win any health points in its classic, high-fructose-corn-syrup-filled version, there are plenty of brands these days providing better-for-you options, like Sir Kensington's and Primal Kitchen, which frees you up to enjoy the mega anti-inflammatory benefits of the lycopene in the tomatoes.

4. Red Onions

Red onions add a cutting sweet bite to burgers, and they come with a ton of health benefits to boot. The pigmented skin is rich in quercetin, which has been shown to help protect cells and improve cardiovascular health. They're also packed with flavonoids, a type of anti-inflammatory antioxidant, so pile 'em on abundantly. 

3. Lettuce

Yes, if you use wan iceberg lettuce, you'll be consuming mostly water, but burgers are a wonderful place to get in a good dose of leafy greens, one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Experiment with the peppery flavor of arugula or watercress, or go for a classic crispness with romaine. If you want more out-there options, try herbs or microgreens!

Article continues below

Related Class

2. Pickles

Pickles are rich in electrolytes, and they preserve the benefits of the original cucumber, which means they contain a ton of antioxidants. While we love vinegar varieties (like these from Thrive Market), these really earn a place on the list when you buy or make a fermented version. This type will be found in the refrigerated section of a grocery store and contains live probiotics to heal your gut as you enjoy your summer meal. 

1. Mustard

Mustard comes from the seeds of the mustard plant, a member of the brassica family. It has a ton of health benefits, ranging from cancer prevention to improving cardiovascular health, and it's prized in ayurveda for calming kapha and vata characteristics. Look for a brand with no added sugar whenever possible.

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

More On This Topic

The Elimination Diet
More Food

Popular Stories

Latest Articles

Latest Articles
Loading next article...

Your article and new folder have been saved!