Eating a hamburger might be convenient, but what impact is it having on your health? Many studies have attempted to answer this question, and the latest research suggests that regularly consuming hamburgers could cost you some precious time.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

On the plus side, hamburgers are a great source of protein and many essential nutrients. They also make for easy, budget-friendly meals that can be thrown together quickly.

On the flip side, however, hamburgers tend to be high in fats, especially saturated fats. In order to retain their taste, they are usually served with a generous serving of cheese and mayonnaise. All of this adds up to a high-calorie, nutritionally-lacking meal that can take a serious toll on your health in the long run.

The Effects on Your Life Expectancy

Based on results from the Nurses’ Health Study, eating a hamburger regularly could take an average of five to thirteen minutes off your life expectancy. While this might sound insignificant at first, those minutes add up over time.

A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health also highlighted the negative effects of consuming processed and red meat regularly. Not only has it been linked to an increased risk of mortality, but also an increase in cardiovascular-related deaths.

Healthy Alternatives

If you wish to reduce your risk of early death, it might be best to avoid hamburgers, particularly when eaten frequently. Fortunately, there are many alternative snacks out there, such as quesadillas, wraps and salads. Even healthier burgers – made with ingredients like mushrooms and black beans – can offer the same level of convenience.

Can You Still Indulge Occasionally?

In moderation, hamburgers can still be a part of a healthy diet. Aim to make smarter choices, such as opting for lean proteins and swapping high-fat condiments for healthier options. If you find it tough to forgo a burger entirely, consider limiting yourself to having one a month.

So before ordering that juicy hamburger, bear in mind the cost it could have on your health – and your life expectancy.

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