10 Tips for a Healthy Summer BBQ

Grilled vegetables1. Pick your Protein – Go for grilled fish more often to decrease the fat, or try salmon or trout, which are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

2. All Chicken is Not Created Equal! – Always look for chicken breasts as the leanest option, and remember to remove the skin or choose skinless. Try to avoid the dark meat found in chicken legs and thighs, which contains more unhealthy fat. You could even try turkey or chicken burgers made with breast meat and your favorite seasonings.

3. What Cut is Best? – When choosing red meat look for “loin” and “round” for a leaner cut, and don’t forget to trim off any visual fat as well before cooking.

4. Go Green…or red, orange, yellow and more! – Mayonnaise-based salads such as potato salad and pasta salad can be high in fat and calories, so instead serve green salads or fruit salads for a lighter side dish with a lot more color!

5. Choose a Better Crunch – Potato chips are often high in saturated and trans fats (the unhealthy fats), but serving raw vegetables like broccoli, carrots, celery or pepper sticks with a low-fat yogurt dip is a better crunchy side without the unhealthy fat.

6. Light and Sweet – When looking for a dessert at the next BBQ, leave the store baked foods on the shelves and try mixing up a light frozen yogurt or a fruit smoothie instead. Avoiding the butter and shortening often found in baked goods will decrease your intake of saturated and trans fats.

7. Get Creative on the Grill – Looking for a different dessert option, try grilling pineapple slices, nectarines, peaches or plums – the natural sugars caramelize and give the fruit a great flavor.

8. Limit Added Salt – Many marinades and condiments can be high in sodium, including teriyaki, soy or barbeque sauces. Instead, decrease the amount your use or make your own, which will lower the amount of added salt in your meal.

9. Pick a Low-Fat Topping – If adding cheese to your favorite sandwich, look for a low-fat or reduced-fat natural cheese. Also, try nonfat Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise or sour cream.

10. Best Bun Choice – Whole-grain rolls and bread are the best choice for your BBQ. Whole grains are full of nutrients like fiber and can add more texture and flavor to any sandwich.

This blog post is intended for informational purposes only. If you have medical concerns, consult a physician or other healthcare professional.

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