Healthy Summer BBQ Tips

Summer is right around the corner and so are the BBQ parties. So, what’s on the grill master’s menu? Here are a few tips, tricks and recipes for staying on track and having a healthy summer BBQ season.

Veg out. Instead of sitting down to a plate of high-calorie ribs as your first course, load up on fresh salad greens and veggies before you hit the grilled meats. You’ll not only get a healthy, low-calorie dose of antioxidants, you’ll also be less likely to overeat the higher calorie foods. Make eating your veggies convenient by grilling them in aluminum foil alongside the other grilled goodies.

Don’t let the name “salad” fool you. Unless you know they are chock-full of chopped veggies and prepared with a low-fat dressing, avoid potato and macaroni salads as they are loaded in saturated fats, carbs and starches! Even if it contains veggies, you’ll want to limit yourself to this carb-heavy fare.

Fresh is always best! Make a veggie and fruit tray with your favorites from your Integrated Food List so you have plenty of on-plan foods to eat during the social festivities. These are also a great finger food for guests to pick on while they wait for burgers and steaks to come off the grill.

Go skinless. Before eating, remove the skin from chicken and turkey. Additionally, choose skinless ground poultry meat or ground sirloin for your burgers. Be sure to check the label and select poultry that is low in fat.

Remove extra fat. Remember to remove all fat from your beef before grilling. Another option is to use buffalo burgers, as they are low in calorie, high in protein, and are a great option for grilling!

Put a stick in it. Kabobs are a great healthy summer BBQ alternative as they’re easy to assemble, and even easier to eat! Use lean meat, fish or shrimp combined with veggies for a fun, personalized option. Try this recipe for Shrimp and Steak Kabobs as a healthy BBQ recipe.

Watch the add-ons. That BBQ pork might taste delicious, but it might also be laden with hidden sugars and fats. Limit yourself on the marinades, sauces and dressing, or even bring your own on-plan version to share!

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