Nothing says summer like outdoor barbecues.
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few barbecues with family and friends, nutritionists advise people to be careful about the food they eat. After all, there’s no need to let the next two months derail healthy eating.
A diet high in sugars, fats and processed foods is not only bad for people’s height, but also for their overall health. Choosing healthier options is important for preventing many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
It is especially necessary for people with chronic illnesses to watch what they eat at summer barbecues. Excessive consumption of traditional cuisine dishes, such as burgers, pasta salads, and sugary drinks, can trigger symptoms and lead to outbreaks.
Here are some tips to make barbecues healthier this summer.
Fill your plate with healthy options
Foods with less sugar, sodium and chemical processing will be the best choices.
Instead of filling up on traditional barbecue dishes such as burgers, hot dogs, salads and creamy dips, choose leaner meats such as grilled salmon, skinless chicken breasts or kebabs. lamb. And instead of potato salad or coleslaw, make room on your plate for raw or grilled vegetables.
For people trying to stick to a mostly plant-based diet, Impossible Burgers and other hot veggie burgers and hot dogs are good choices.
A favorite part of many barbecues is the dessert table. But constantly indulging in cookies, cakes and other sweets can lead to future health problems. Noshing on fresh fruit, or even fruit salad, can provide a sweet fix.
When it comes to beverages, avoid empty calories by sticking to water, sparkling water, and unsweetened teas. People who like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage are advised to drink water between themselves.
Find healthier versions of your favorite treats
Nutritionists warn that the least healthy food options at summer barbecues tend to be the more traditional ones – bratwursts, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, mac and cheese, potato chips and creamy dips. That doesn’t mean people should avoid them all together. Instead, they can choose healthier versions of their favorites.
People who like chicken or ribs dipped in barbecue sauce can avoid the extra sugar by making their own sauce, carefully watching the amount of sugar and sodium added. They can also select leaner cuts of meat or alternatives to seafood for protein.
People who can’t resist fries and dips as an appetizer can try guacamole and hummus, which are loaded with healthier fats.
And let’s not forget the oft-maligned hot dog. It’s well known that hot dogs aren’t the healthiest food, but it’s hard to imagine a summer barbecue without them, isn’t it? Fortunately, there are a number of healthier hot dog options.
“Avoid traditional or labeled hot dogs at the rough stage,” New York-based nutrition consultant Nicole Avena told HuffPost. They are generally high in sodium and contain the most additives and preservatives.
Whole beef, turkey or chicken are the best options. Choose uncured chicken or turkey hot dogs, which are generally less saturated and less processed than beef hot dogs.
Remember that processed foods, like hot dogs, have been linked to certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer, due to the preservation process.
Nutritionists say it’s important to remember that people can indulge themselves with some of their favorite unhealthy foods. Don’t overdo it. Divide the treats carefully and balance them with healthier options.
Plan ahead to avoid overeating
Eating before attending a barbecue can reduce the risk of overdoing it.
“If you show up hungry, you’ll have a harder time making good choices, and you’ll likely end up overeating,” says Beth Czerwony, registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic. “The most important thing is to think ahead and plan how you will stay healthy.”
If people aren’t sure what’s on the menu, they can bring a healthy food with them. This can help them avoid temptations. Additionally, Czerwony advises people to fill their plates with healthy foods first. They will be more likely to make better choices throughout the event.
Stay active, suggests Czerwony. At summer barbecues, it’s easy to spend a lot of time eating and drinking while socializing. However, the less active people are, the more vulnerable they are to overeating. Playing games, like corn hole or volleyball, or swimming, are ways to stay active. Dancing can also be a fun way to burn calories.