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Make grilling just a little bit healthier without compromising flavor!  Here are some great tips from our dietician.

Barbecue food doesn't have to be bad for you, but beware some barbecue mainstays have a tendency to be loaded with fat, salt, sugar, and calories.  Follow these tips for a healthier barbecue and you’ll find that making quick, tasty, and healthy choices is easy to do. 

  1. Use lean cuts of protein.  Using leaner cuts of meat can greatly reduce your saturated fat intake. Buying loin of pork instead of ribs, or lean steak rather than a fattier cut, are healthier choices. Fish and skinless chicken breast are also excellent options for the grill!  
  2. Know portion sizes.  A healthy portion of any type of meat is about 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards.
  3. Marinades and rubs add great flavor. Marinating or rubbing spices on poultry, fish, and meat can add flavor, but be careful of the sodium intake. It’s simple to add your own flavor in a healthy way.  You can make your own rub and marinades to know exactly what’s in them.
  4. Grill your veggies and even fruits.  All types of fruits and veggies can be grilled, alone or in kebabs.  Cut them into uniform pieces that will cook quickly and evenly. Brush with a healthy oil and use a grill basket.  If you were thinking 3 ounces of meat may not fill you up, they will help fill your plate and tummy.
  5. Sauces and dips and add calories and fat. So, don’t drown your grilled masterpiece in salty sauces or sugary condiments. Use as little of these as possible.

                                                            - Karen Bunnell, RD, LMNT

Karen Bunnell, RD, LMNT, dietician at Phelps Memorial Health Center, consults with patients to improve health and well-being.  To schedule an appointment with her call 308.995.2211.