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Healthy barbecuing tips

Everyone loves a good barbecue in the summer, but grill outs can quickly turn into unhealthy meals. However, there are ways to make a barbecue a healthy meal.

If you are planning to grill meats, choose a healthier meat option such as lean or extra lean ground turkey; ground sirloin beef; boneless, skinless chicken breast; salmon, cod or Mahi-Mahi; or lean or extra lean steak. If you’re making burgers, try layering tomatoes, lettuce and onion or other vegetables. Try making kabobs by combining pieces of fish and fruit or shrimp and vegetables.

Consider a meatless grilled meal by focusing on vegetables. Since cholesterol is only found in animal products, by choosing a meatless option you will reduce the intake of dietary cholesterol. You can also opt for a black bean burger or other patties made from legumes.

You can colorize your grilled meal by grilling vegetables. Cut vegetables in equal sizes so all pieces cook evenly. To help prevent sticking and to enhance flavor, you can lightly drizzle the vegetables in olive oil prior to grilling. Many vegetables do well on the grill, but some that stand out include asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions or cabbage. Try grilling a quartered fennel bulb for a unique taste.

For dessert, try out some fruit on the grill by making fruit kabobs, grilled peaches, apples or bananas. You can even grill watermelon. Sprinkle a little ginger on it and savor!  Or try a cup of chilled fruit for dessert.

Bring some light snacks that can help colorize your meal or picnic. Try chopped vegetables with a light sour cream or Greek yogurt dip, pita chips or chopped peppers with hummus or fresh fruit.

 

About Julia Salomón MS, RD, CD

Julia is the corporate dietitian at Affinity Health System and also a nutrition educator. She works at various sites throughout the organization working with Affinity’s employee wellness program. She earned her Master’s degree in nutrition science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and became a dietitian shortly thereafter. Julia has worked on several nutrition projects abroad as well as domestically. Before joining Affinity Health System in June of 2011, she worked as a college dietitian and later in the school nutrition field. She has earned certificates of training in adult and childhood weight management. Julia has a special interest in nutrition, public health and wellness.

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