Brilliant Tips For Healthier BBQs

by Michelle on May 31, 2018

With BBQ and grilling season upon us – there are some easy swaps and changes you can make for healthier BBQs!! With just a few small tweaks you can cut calories and help you stay on track!

With warmer weather just starting to arrive it’s time to uncover and clean off the barbecue and commence with grilling!  While it is a bit healthier to grill foods (usually not many fats are needed) the sauces that are used can increase the sugar content too much and make a healthy cooking option not so healthy after all.  Items like lean meats, chicken breast, fish, vegetables, and even fruit, all taste fantastic when grilled and sometimes the flavors of certain items are even enhanced when cooked over an open flame.

The way you cook on the grill is almost as important as what you cook.  Proteins (meat, chicken, and fish) sometimes stick when no fats (butter or oils) are used to a little bit of olive oil is fine…just a little bit though.  Olive oil is a healthy choice and a little goes a long way. There are now nonstick grilling mats and pans specifically made for the barbecue and these, of course, require no butter or oils to prevent sticking…making them a great healthy option.  You can also cook things in tinfoil “packets”…vegetables and fish are good options for this method…so as to keep items from falling through the grates of the grill. It also steams the food so you aren’t having to use anything on the items to prevent sticking.

 

Another pitfall for people looking to eat healthy and enjoy a barbecue are the sauces used to marinate the proteins.  Sugar is usually in large quantities in these sauces as it imparts a lot of flavors when it caramelizes. Even a healthy fish filet can be rendered unhealthy by a high-calorie sauce, so whenever possible use marinades and sauces sparingly and AFTER cooking to minimize damage to your diet.  Also, remove any visible fat from meat and the skin from chicken and turkey for the best option.

 

There are many healthy barbecue recipes to try with a variety of foods and depending on your preference, there are many variations.  Here are a few links to sites offering healthy barbecue recipes that you might want to try:

 

  1. https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/dinner/grilling-recipes/
  2. http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/five-star-grill-recipes
  3. https://www.delish.com/entertaining/g2167/healthy-grilling-recipes/
  4. https://www.bonappetit.com/gallery/healthy-grilling-recipes
  5. https://www.cookincanuck.com/15-healthy-barbecue-grilling-recipes/

 

Side Dishes are also an area where many people eat more calories than they realize and a diet can really be derailed due to a great side dish.  Potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and baked beans are the traditional sides at most barbecues, but they are loaded with fat and calories (and sugar as well) and aren’t on any weight loss program.  While they’re delicious, it’s best to avoid them and opt for things like grilled vegetables, a leafy green salad, bean and avocado salad, or even a baked potato cooked on the grill.

 

When it comes to dessert, a couple of good things to grill in the fruit category are pineapple slices and peaches.  The fruit sugars in these delicious items caramelize when grilled and they become very sweet. They are great options that are still healthy when it comes to barbecue fare.  Even small changes to your normal barbecue dining can mean positive results for your health and make eating better easier and easier every time you incorporate them.

Michelle

Michelle

Michelle

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