Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Are Cheeseburgers Bad For You?

Also Known As: hamburger / burger topped with cheese



Short answer

Depending on how you make your cheeseburger, it can either be healthy or dangerous. Foods high in fat build up bad cholesterol and can lead to various problems. However, an extra lean cheeseburger with toppings from the various food groups will give your body most of the nutrients it needs.



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Long answer

There is little doubt about the negative health effects of getting a cheeseburger from a fast food joint. However, what about cheeseburgers served at a BBQ party or just in your own home for an easy-to-make family meal? Since cheeseburgers made at home vary from person to person, it is impossible to give a definitive answer as to whether or not your particular cheeseburger is good for you or not. A general answer to the question would be to say that if you use the right ingredients, the right type of meat, and don't overindulge - then cheeseburgers can actually be rather good for you. 

Let's take a look at the typical ingredients for a cheeseburger - bread, a beef patty, and cheese. Before thinking about various other condiments and other toppings that go on many cheeseburgers (onions, pickles, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, just to name a few), you can see that these three alone lend themselves to a wide range of interpretation. 

If you use white bread, regular beef patty, processed American singles and load your cheeseburger with bacon and barbecue sauce, then each cheeseburger you eat would significantly raise your cholesterol and be a proverbial "heart attack waiting to happen." Eating fatty foods also leads to problems such as bloating, gas, heartburn, and nausea. However, if you use whole grain bread, extra lean beef, and real cheese, such as sharp cheddar, and add lettuce, pineapple, and mustard, then you have a meal that uses all the food groups and is rather healthy for you (if you enjoy just one or two). 

If you are trying to stay away from beef, you can also use turkey meat or pork as a substitute. Vegetarians can also make cheeseburgers using a tofu patty.

Possible short-term side effects

  • bloating
  • gas
  • acid reflux
  • heartburn
  • nausea

Possible long-term side effects

  • cholesterol buildup
  • weight gain
  • cardiac disease
  • cancer when processed ingredients are used

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • veggie burger
  • chicken and cheese sandwich
  • black bean burger

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Veggie Burger Starter

  • Plant-based protein
  • Easy meal prep
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Convenient cooking
  • Customizable flavors
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-02-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-02-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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