Summer is synonymous with barbecues, the tantalizing aroma of grilled meats, the refreshing taste of chilled beverages, and the joy of sharing a meal outdoors with family and friends.
But, we often associate barbecues with unhealthy, calorie-laden food. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
With some clever tweaks and mindful choices, you can turn your barbecue feast into a wholesome, nutrition-packed delight.
A registered dietician provides tips on how to create healthy and delicious BBQ dishes.
Choose lean cuts of meat
Instead of opting for fatty cuts of meat, choose lean ones. Skinless chicken breast, turkey, fish, or lean cuts of beef are excellent choices.
They’re lower in unhealthy fats and higher in protein. Additionally, marinating the meat in a low-fat marinade can enhance the flavor without adding unnecessary calories.
Load up on veggies
Vegetables are not only low in calories and high in fiber, they also add color, texture, and flavor to your barbecue.
So, skew some bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and tomatoes alongside your meat.
You can also grill corn on the cob or make a veggie-packed salad as a side dish.
Watch your portion sizes
Even with healthy choices, portion sizes still matter.
Try to fill at least half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and the rest with whole grains or starchy vegetables.
Also, remember to avoid second helpings and mindless snacking.
Opt for whole grain alternatives
Swap out regular bread and pasta salads for whole grain alternatives.
Whole grains are high in fiber and can help you stay fuller for longer, thus reducing the likelihood of overeating.
Mind your sauces and condiments
Condiments and sauces can be a hidden source of calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
Opt for homemade sauces and dressings using fresh herbs, spices, vinegar, or lemon juice. Try to avoid store-bought versions that often contain high levels of sodium and preservatives.
Stay hydrated the right way
Sugary drinks can easily add up in calories. Instead, stay hydrated with water, unsweetened iced tea, or homemade lemonade.
If you fancy a cocktail, opt for a light version and limit your intake.
End on a fruity note
Instead of high-calorie desserts, end your barbecue on a fresh and fruity note.
Grilled pineapple, peaches, or a bowl of mixed berries can be a satisfying and healthy end to your meal.
Creating healthy and delicious BBQ meals is not difficult. All it takes is a bit of planning, wise choices, and portion control.
So, the next time you fire up your grill, remember these tips from our dietician and enjoy a guilt-free barbecue.
If you found these tips helpful, don’t keep them to yourself. Share this article on your social media and help your friends and family enjoy healthier barbecues too.