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  • Healthy Twists on Traditional BBQ

    Published: 06/25/2013

    The summer season is in full swing which means it’s officially time to heat up the grill!

    Einstein Healthcare Network dietitian, Theresa Shank, has shared her tips for delicious and healthy BBQ that you can use when hosting all summer long.

    A BBQ is associated with thoughts of burgers, hot dogs, potato salads, and cupcakes. However, this summer season I encourage everyone to put a healthy twist on their traditional BBQ. That’s right, it is possible to host a delicious BBQ for your friends and family while still being good to your waistline.

    Try these guilt free, yet delicious tips at your next BBQ to keep your health in check and your guests taste buds satisfied.

    Offer leaner meats at your event. Serve your guests properly portioned, 3-4 ounce, boneless, skinless chicken breast with grilled pineapple and a side salad for a Hawaiian themed party. Introduce the flavors of a guiltless turkey burger on a whole wheat bun; you’ll save on fat and calories while still providing a “burger” option to your guests. Try topping burgers or sandwiches with avocado instead of mayonnaise to cut down on empty fat calories!

    Another lean yet flavorful option to serve at your healthy BBQ is fish. Fish is a good source of protein and unlike other fatty meat products, fish is not high in saturated fat. In fact, fish is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids which have been shown to help support heart health and decrease inflammation. Try preparing grilled fish topped with mango salsa and served with a mixed green salad to provide a tropical feel to your backyard BBQ.

    Go lighter on the sides. Instead of offering mayonnaise rich potato or chicken salad, offer bowls of fruit salad, five bean salad, grilled vegetables such as sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and peppers, or a whole wheat pasta salad made with balsamic vinaigrette. These options replace the calories from high fat sides of a typical BBQ but they sure don’t skimp out on the flavor!

    Don’t forget about dessert! Serve your guests fruits that are in season to add a more fruity and sweet taste to your desserts. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon and pineapple all make great toppings for frozen yogurt, sorbet or angel food cake. You can also use these delicious fruits to make a colorful fruit and yogurt parfait topped with crunchy granola.

    Whether you are celebrating summer with your friends and family or having a quiet evening at home, these tips will leave you feeling healthy and satisfied while kicking the guilt and the grease of traditional BBQ’s to the curb.

  • Communications Team