Encourage Smaller Portions
1 Be sensible about serving sizes. Instead of grilling extra large burgers, cook smaller burgers to promote portion control. For chicken kabobs, use smaller pieces of meat and alternate with vegetables. Cut sausages in half instead of grilling them whole.
2 Marinate vegetables for about an hour before putting them on the grill. When you cook them directly over medium heat and turn them frequently, they usually are done within 10 minutes. My favorite vegetables to grill include large portabello mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini and asparagus.
Choose The Leanest Cuts of Beef and Pork
Offer Vegetarian Options
4 Instead of overloading on red meat at the barbecue, offer some vegetarian-friendly options. Grill a few flavorful black bean burgers and vegetable kabobs.
Swap Mayo Out For Greek Yogurt
Limit Processed Meats
6 Hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and ham are examples of processed meats. The American Institute of Cancer Research has reported that processed meats are linked to increased colorectal cancer risk. Try to keep these items to a limit, and eat in moderation on
Grilled Fruit For Dessert
Up The Omega 3s
8 Fish can grill up beautifully and provides a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Try salmon, swordfish or tuna steaks for easy grilling. Add some walnuts to a large green salad for more of an omega-3 boost.
Offer A Large Veggie Crudité
9 Keep a large crudité with a variety of fresh vegetables out during the entire barbecue. Serve with natural hummus or homemade guacamole.
Flavor Up Lean Meats
11 You can still get great flavor with leaner meats. Marinate them for 24 hours to enjoy delicious flavor without any extra fat. Lower-fat marinades with acid ingredients can help break down the tough fibers in meats as well.
12 PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and HCAs (heterocyclic amines) are the cancer-contributing substances found on the surface of well-done meats cooked at high temperatures. Avoid charring meats and start by trimming visible fat. Add vinegar or lemon juice to marinades to protect the surface of meat.
Take The Skin Off
13 Half of the saturated fat in chicken comes from the skin. If you cook with the skin on and then take it off at the dinner table, you’ll lose the flavor from your marinade and seasoning. Take the skin off before preparing the chicken and marinate for at least two hours in the refrigerator.
Swap Out Soda For Flavored Seltzer
14 If you still need that carbonated kick, opt for flavored seltzer water. There are a ton of new brands now selling all different varieties of flavored seltzer or sparkling water. My favorites are LaCroix Sparkling and Poland Spring Sparkling. You can also try Zevia, which is a naturally sweetened soda.
Ditch The Bun
16 When you’re busy running around and enjoying the barbecue, it can be easy to forget about hydration. Make sure you either carry a water bottle with you or keep a few water pitchers out during the day.
Offer A Few Salads
17 Memorial Day Weekend is the prefect time for some refreshing side dishes. Start with a big green salad filled with avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and fresh fruit. Offer a southwest-style quinoa salad with grilled corn. Try a pasta salad with feta, basil, artichoke hearts, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
19 Some of your favorite foods may only come around once a year. If there is a dish that you absolutely love, try to indulge in a sensible way and focus on moderation.
Protect Your Skin
Stefani Pappas, RDN, CDN, CPT, is a clinical dietitian nutritionist at St. Francis Hospital. She also provides private and group nutrition counseling at her office in Great Neck. Visit www.StefHealthTips.com for more information and to schedule an appointment.