Ten Tips for a Healthy Summer BBQ

You likely have plans underway for a great barbecue to share with friends and family this summer.  Barbecues come with loads of delicious foods, but be sure to do your barbecue right and avoid the extra calories from added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Here are some tips to keeping your barbecue healthy and delicious:

  1. Go for grilled fish more often. Fish is high in healthy unsaturated fats like omega-3’s that are good for your heart.
  2. Choose a chicken breast instead of chicken legs or wings, which have dark meat and more fat.
  3. Pick leaner cuts of meat, such as “loin” or “round” for beef and pork. Be sure to look for “choice” or “select” grades of meat since these are lower in fat than “prime”.
  4. Grill smart. Clean your grill before and after grilling to prevent buildup of carcinogens. Be sure to marinate your meat as studies have shown that marinated meat has less carcinogens than non-marinated meat. Finally, try to avoid flare ups and burning of the meat as this too will create harmful carcinogens.
  5. Serve colorful salads full of vegetables or fruit salads instead of mayonnaise or cream cheese based salads.
  6. Try raw veggies and dip instead of potato chips to add the “crunch” to your barbecue.
  7. Serve 100% whole wheat hamburger and hotdog buns instead of refined, enriched buns.
  8. Forget the salt shaker. Add garlic or onion powder, Mrs. Dash, or fresh herbs and spices to food for extra flavor.
  9. Skip the cookies, cake, brownies, and ice cream for dessert. Instead, grill fruit such as pineapple, nectarines, peaches, or plums. Grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit which has a great flavor without all the extra calories.
  10. Be sure to have water available for a beverage instead of soda or alcoholic beverages. These are okay to have once and while but be sure to have water too, as these beverages are high in calories that can add up fast! If water is too “plain” for you try adding fresh fruit or cucumbers for a great natural flavor.

Try this recipe at your next BBQ!

Rhubarb Fruit Salad


Serves 8 Serving Size ¾ c

3 c thinly sliced fresh rhubarb
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp orange liquor
1 ½ c halved red or green grapes
1 ½ c small honeydew or cantaloupe melon balls
1 ½ c diced mango or sliced strawberries

1. Bring rhubarb, honey, and orange liquor to a simmer in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is just beginning to break down, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. Stir grapes, melon, and mango (or strawberries) into the rhubarb mixture. Serve or return to the refrigerator to chill.
Nutrition Information: 90 calories, 0 g fat, 8 g added sugar, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein, 0 g fat

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