BBQ Season: Healthy Swaps

Summer brings about invitations to sumptuous barbecues and picnics where you’re going to be bombarded with all kinds of tasty temptations. That delicious display of chips, meats, salads and desserts could be the undoing to your healthy eating plan and fitting into your newest pair of skinny jeans.

The good news is that you can make healthy swaps for your summer food outings without compromising taste.

Here are just a few of my favorite recommended swaps!

 

Mustard Instead Of Mayonnaise

Those commercially made creamy mayonnaise-based salads will be made with lesser quality fats and other ingredients, and be packed full of extra (likely un-welcomed) calories.

Instead! For your BBQ classics such a coleslaw and potato salad, mix in a blend of Greek yogurt and wholegrain mustard. The taste will be incredibly creamy and delicious, the calorie and fat content will be at a healthier level and still provide a source of calcium, friendly bacteria (probiotics) and protein. Add a leafy green salad to any menu though be sure to use fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon or olive oil as a healthy dressing alternative.

 

Salsa Instead Of Sauce

Both BBQ and tomato sauces are typically pretty high in sugar and sodium, and considering that your burger will very likely comprise both, that’s is a lot of added sodium and sugar! Healthier topping options for your BBQ burger would salsa, homemade pesto, fermented veggies or even a just a little mustard.

 

Lime Juice Instead Of Butter

Looking for a tasty change to your freshly grilled corn on the cob? Try a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice!

 

Homemade Burger Patties, Hands Down

It’s incredibly easy to make your own hamburger patties!  They will be made from fresh ingredients, have far more flavor and taste variations than anything you can buy in  store.

If you haven’t already, you’ve simply gotta check out my Super Stuffed Burger Recipe!

 

They’re Not All Made The Same

Sausages are a BBQ favorite yet they are considered to be a processed meat. Sausages can be made cheaply and poorly, from low quality meat or meat scraps. This kind of sausage will also contain sodium nitrate, a preservative damaging to your health if consumed regularly.

Not all sausages are made this way though! Get sausages for your grill from a local butcher or deli who will use fine ingredients while avoiding nasty preservatives, fillers and binders. The taste will speak for itself.

 

Please Don’t Overcook

Ensure you don’t burn your fish, chicken or meat when cooking or barbecuing. Heterocyclic Amines (HCA’s) are essentially carcinogenic compounds that may increase the risk of cancer, and are formed when muscle meat is cooked at a high temperature and have those browned or black charred lines or areas.

 

Change Things Up A Bit

Toss some tuna or salmon steaks on the grill instead of the typical red meat steak. Fish is rich in omega-3 fats which will improve brain function, boost immunity and lessen inflammation at the same time. Fish also contains iron and is a great source of protein, just like red meat does.

 

Photo Credit: blogs.extension.iastate.edu

 

 

About the Author:

Hello! Sharon here… Nutrition & Wellness Expert in Calgary, Canada. My passion is helping you feel better. With great foods and healthy habits I can help you find the energy and happiness for work, life and play.