A Kiwi burger chain has named a bun-less burger after a customer who loves meat patties but is on a carbohydrate-free diet.

Simon Holbrook caught the attention of Better Burger after he asked for five patties, five slices of cheese, a few pickles, some secret sauce — and nothing else.

They've now created a bun-less burger called "The Simon".

Holbrook has since cut his order back to just patties and cheese, ordering five of each — but sometimes up to seven — two or three times a week.


The Titirangi man told the Herald he is following the ketogenic diet, which he described as "high-fat, moderate protein and near zero carbs".

The 41-year-old said he felt great, his cholesterol was down and he had lost 17kg in 10 months, although he wasn't sure if that was due directly to the change in diet or because he had more energy and was exercising more.

The keto diet "flipped your body to become a fat burner" and went against advice he had heard his whole life that low-fat was good, Holbrook said.

"It's oxymoronic, at face value, that it's healthy. But now's the time for people to question what is healthy."

Dietitian Tom Shand said that done well and with the support of a dietitian, the ketogenic diet may improve some people's health, especially if their diet had been high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

But he did not believe cutting any food group was necessary to experience the benefits of healthy eating.

"Lots of people achieve their health goals by following less extreme eating patterns that are more sustainable in the long term."

There was a lot of debate around the ketogenic diet, particularly over the long-term safety of elevated ketones and the higher saturated fat content of the diet.


"What everyone agrees on is that having lots of colourful vegetables — aim for half your plate at lunch and dinner — is an essential part of healthy dinner."

He worried Holbrook wasn't getting enough fibre, vitamins and minerals, of which whole grain carbohydrates were a great source. Lots of veges and some fruit could also fill that gap, Shand said.

Mostly healthy fats, such as, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds should also be used where possible.

Better Burger used 100 per cent angus beef brisket, but other fast food outlets might use more highly processed patties, which had been associated with poorer health outcomes, Shand said.

Processed cheese was also generally high in salt and other preservatives.

A healthy diet was so much more than weight loss and cholesterol levels, he said.

"My main concern with restrictive diets is that they can encourage an 'all or nothing' mindset to nutrition, whereas I would much prefer people to enjoy a range of different foods, including occasional treats, as part of a lifestyle that they can sustain for the rest of their life."

Better Burger co-owner and general manager Rod Ballenden said they were celebrating The Simon by giving anyone named Simon, Simone, Saimone, Simona, Haimona, Himiona or Taimona a free cheeseburger — bun or bun-less — on July 11.

Asked if it was responsible to champion a customer eating up to 15 burger patties and cheese each week, Ballenden said it was the customer's choice to "eat what they want".

Better Burger's focus was on making sure people were eating the best fast food possible.

"We are not in the health service sector. People deserve to be able to make choices and do it in the best way possible."