Top Ten Tips for a Healthier BBQ this Summer

Check out this list of easy-to-follow tips for a healthier BBQ this summerSometimes when we publish a list of tops tips, it’s often wiser and more prudent to tackle one or two at a time but with this list you could try them all for your next BBQ.

Our accompanying blog post contains a list of 7 BBQ recipes that go hand-in-hand with the list of tips for a healthier BBQ this summer.

1. Cut Down on Red Meat
When we think of barbecues we traditionally think of burgers, sausages and steak. Unfortunately red meats such as beef, pork and lamb are higher in saturated fat and have more cholesterol when compared to chicken and turkey. Since regularly consuming foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat can contribute to heart disease, try swapping out your red meat for leaner options like turkey sausages and chicken thighs.

2. BBQ Vegetables
As another alternative to red meat why not try grilling your favourite vegetables. Vegetable kebabs not only add colour and texture to your meal but provide you with vitamins and minerals essential for good health. Portobello mushrooms, courgettes, peppers and onions work especially well and can also make a delicious topping for burgers and salads.

3. Swap Your Sauce
Store bought BBQ sauces are usually laden with sugar, one tablespoon of BBQ sauce usually contains more than a teaspoon of sugar. Instead try marinating meats in sugar free alternatives like garlic, herbs and spices, soy, lime juice or fresh ginger.

4. Watch Your Salt
Similarly, to the last point, often store bought “meat rubs” are high in salt, too much of which can cause high blood pressure and put you at risk of heart disease and stroke. An adult should aim to have no more than 6g of salt per day, that’s 1 ½ teaspoons. Again look to season foods with alternative options like herbs and spices.

5. Go Naked
It may sound simple but skipping the bun when it comes to your burger can make a big difference. The average white burger bun contains 130-150 calories and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Build your bun on some lettuce with your usual favourite toppings and enjoy it guilt free.

6. Meat Free Sausages
There is no two ways about it, processed meat isn’t the best option when it comes to our health. Sausages are not only laden with fat and salt but contain compounds called nitrates and nitrites that once in the body can be converted into cancer causing compounds. Try Quorn or veggie based sausage alternatives this summer, usually lower in salt, fat and calories.

7. Catch of The Day
Fish is something that often gets overlooked when we think of barbecues. An excellent source of protein, white-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, while oily fish is high in the ‘good’ fats we need, omega-3 fatty acids. Try the recipe attached for our delicious prawn skewers!

8. Cut the Fat
While for many people cheese is an essential part of a burger, leaving it off is perhaps the easiest way to cut calories and fat from your BBQ with one simple step. It’s also important to trim excess fat from meat cuts before you cook them.

9. Skip the Mayo
Often side dishes like potato salad or coleslaw are made with full fat mayonnaise. Reduce calories and fat by swapping mayonnaise for dressings made from non-fat natural yoghurt instead.

10. Choose Alcohol Wisely
Many of us like to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with a summer BBQ, but keep in mind that alcohol provides nothing but empty calories. Wine is often high in sugar and will usually provide about 120-150 calories per glass. Why not choose alcohol free alternatives or alternate drinks with water.

 

Blog Post by Michael O'Brien