It’s Labor Day, the end of summer and probably the last time you’re going to get the grill out until next year. BBQ can be one of those things that turns unhealthy immediately but with these tips you can keep your cookout good for your body and delicious for your palate.
1. Go “Kebabing”
Kebabs are a great and easy way to grill meat and veggies. You can make chicken kebabs, shrimp kebabs, veggie kebabs, pork and beef kebabs. Always stick to using lean cuts of meat and let your kebab items marinate overnight for bold flavors without adding tons of fat, sugar and calories.
2. Replace Your Meat With Fish
While pork, red meat and chicken are typical BBQ faves, you can cut calories and fat while boning up on essential vitamins and nutrients by substituting other meats with fish. You can grill fish “steaks” or also wrap a seasoned fillet in foil and throw it on the grill.
One ounce of tilapia contains 36 calories , 1 gram of fat (no saturated fat!) and 7 grams of protein.
One ounce of salmon contains 58 calories, 3 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat) and 6 grams of protein.
One ounce of swordfish contains 43 calories, 1 gram of fat and 7 grams of protein.
3. Grill Corn, Asparagus, Eggplant, Zucchini and Other Veggies
Veggies are ideal for grilling because you can’t really over grill them and if you use a marinade they will taste delicious and keep you full while cutting down on calories and fat.
4. Gorge On Salads
We’re not talking about potato salad here. Fresh green salads are a great starter option for your BBQ to help get you full before the big feast. Try a Greek salad or something more exotic. Don’t forget you can also make a fruit salad as well.
5. Skip The Ice Cream And Have A Parfait
Mixing some fruit with some yogurt and granola is a much healthier alternative to ice cream for desert. Here are some really great low-cal and low-fat recipes to try.
6. Take The Skin Off Your Chicken
Taking the skin off chicken before you cook makes it way healthier than leaving the skin on. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the nutrition facts:
4 ounces of roasted chicken breast with skin contains 223 calories, 8.8 grams of fat, and 2.5 grams of saturated fat
4 ounces of roasted chicken breast WITHOUT skin contains 187 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 1.2 grams of saturated fat
If that’s not enough reason to go skinless then we don’t know what else is!
7. Go Vegetarian
Maybe you have some vegetarians attending your BBQ, why not go veggie with them! Veggie burgers and dogs are usually soy or gluten-based and are low in saturated fats compared to hamburger meat. Hamburgers generally contain about 7 grams of saturated fat while products like Bocca and Morningstar Farms contain 0-1 grams of saturated fat.
8. If You Love The Meat, Trim The Fat!
Not only is the fat on meat artery clogging but also can increase your risk of getting cancer. Grilling contains lots of cancer risks due to the carcinogens produced. You can lower these risks by trimming the fat from your meat. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) formation is hard to get around but more are produced when smoke is produced by fat dripping from meat onto the grill.
9. Make Your Own BBQ Sauce
Commercial BBQ sauces are loaded with sugar (most likely high fructose corn syrup). To avoid this, try making your own. Here’s 30 recipes that will have you satisfied and thanking us later for not inducing a comatose sugar high.
Now that you’ve got these tips plan a menu that’s health-conscious but still delicious to make your Labor Day spectacular!