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How to Have a Healthy Barbecue

By Joanne Sgro-Killworth HERWriter
 
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Memorial Day weekend is the start of the barbecue and picnic season. But when hosting or doing the potluck thing, what can you do to not pack on the calories from eating too much? The answer is simply modifying your choices and not mindlessly reaching for hamburger and hot dog buns.

The first rule of thumb is to steer clear from the chips and junk food and fill up on fresh veggies. Fresh veggies and fruits are festive and will keep you hydrated all day.

Next, you may want to use Greek or low-fat yogurt in your dips instead of heavy mayonnaise or sour cream. This will not only add the consistency you want, but also cut down on calories while adding protein. This works great in deviled eggs mixed with some avocado too.

Ditch the buns and wrap up that burger in some Boston or iceberg lettuce. Look for lean ground beef or even better, ground turkey or chicken. If you’re a vegetarian, grilled eggplant, portobello mushrooms or zucchini are also a great choice. A nice bean salad would also be a good option served with a light vinaigrette. Also, think kabob instead of sandwich. Most of the above mentioned buns are made with white flour which have no nutritional value whatsoever.

In addition, take the fried out of chicken. Did you know that according to fitday.com’s calorie counter, a 5-ounce piece of chicken has approximately 365 calories with 25 grams of fat? Meanwhile, one cup of broiled, skinless chicken breast meat contains only 220 total calories, with only 43 of those calories being from fat. Instead of fried chicken, enjoy some delicious grilled chicken wings basted with spicy cayenne pepper sauce or some fresh garlic and olive oil.

When grill meets sea is also a great way to enjoy a summer barbecue. Fitness Magazine touted grilling as one of the more healthy ways to prepare foods and has a delicious Morrocan Shrimp and Spinach recipe (see link below).

When it comes to dessert, break out the watermelon. It is such a natural and healthy treat. There is even the seedless variety. Fresh berries are also a great option as they are lower in sugar.

Drink up on unsweetened sun tea or freshly squeezed juice.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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