Healthy Summer BBQ

Jul 14, 2019

​Summer is almost here, and with it comes barbecue season!!

BBQs equal friends, fun and food!!

BUT . . . when you’re trying to eat healthy, a summer cookout may seem like a serious challenge. That’s because your average barbecue has a tendency to be loaded with fat, salt, sugar, and calories.

However, there are plenty of delicious options that you can enjoy if you’re watching your sugar intake, want to lose weight, or eat healthier.

#1 Don’t deprive yourself of foods you really love. Even when we’re trying to lose weight and be healthy, we can still enjoy the foods you love. It's okay to enjoy serving of your favorite dish, but focus on sticking with portion control. And try to pick just one of your favorites to enjoy—save the rest for the next cookout.

Another simple trick for eating healthy at your BBQ is to DIY—offer to bring a dish you know is healthy. That way, you’re contributing, and you know there will be a trusty option to fall back on.

Finally, focus on filling your plate with delicious foods that are high in nutritional value.

Here are 8 simple tips  ​

1. Choose a lean protein. Opt for turkey or chicken over pork. Go skinless on your chicken.  If ribs or pulled pork are your jam, keep your portion the size of the palm of your hand, so about ½ cup, or three to four ounces.

2. Fill half your plate with raw veggies and fresh fruit. 

3. Beans are a great source of fiber. When portions are kept in check, baked beans can actually be a smart choice at a barbecue.

4. Remember that classic corn on the cob is a vegetable.  Just be mindful about toppings, like butter and salt.

5. Try eating your burger bun-free.  Eat it in a lettuce wrap, turn it into a salad bowl, or eat it on half a bun. So if all you’re going to have is the bun, that’s fine, but if you want potato salad and pasta salad, I would skip the bun. Big picture, right?

6. Reimagine your baked potato. Baked potatoes are high in carbohydrates, but they’re also high in potassium and fiber, among other nutrients, so they definitely have a spot on your healthy barbecue plate. But if you’re trying to eat healthier, be mindful of your toppings. 

7. Kebabs for the win!! Go for kebabs with lots of veggies and meat! Looking for a leaner protein option, choose chicken over steak. 

8. Try a vinegar-based coleslaw instead of mayonnaise-based.

The key to a great BBQ is living in the moment!  Enjoy the great food, but also spend time enjoying the great music, the actives, the people.  

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