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Posted on 07-05-2012

Morning everyone!  Do you love barbecue as much as I do? Although the healthy options are usually limited at your favorite barbeque joint, you can keep it under control by finding a good balance.  I'd like to offer some healthy tips to enjoy the barbeque season.

Barbeque Restaurants

Barbeque isn’t known for being healthy, but there are healthier options out there you may want to consider. When choosing meat, try smoked barbeque turkey. This choice has 5-6 g of saturated fat versus 13 g in brisket. Turkey is a great option to get the smokey flavor without the calories and fat. Instead of ribs, which has 15 g of saturated fat, try a pulled pork sandwich. This only has 8 g of saturated fat. If you can, split your meat with a friend.

Not only should you make the leaner meat choice but beware of the side items. Creamed corn, macaroni and cheese, breaded okra and potato salad will easily contain 20 g of saturated fat. The best solution is to opt for steamed vegetables or a salad with the dressing or sauce on the side. Remember to drizzle your dressing and not drench it.  Also you may ask if they can avoid searing your meets as the fat when it is charred turns immediately to trans fat!

Barbeque at Home
To avoid restaurants’ less healthy options, throw a healthier barbeque bash at home. Having options and using your imagination, you can create many healthy choices. Switch from burgers and brats to kebabs. Use lean meat, chicken, tofu or fish but in smaller portions. Try alternating meat with a variety of vegetables like cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini and yellow squash. Add fruit to the mix by adding pineapple and apple slices. For the juicy taste and texture, find a reduced-calorie marinade or brush a little olive oil on your favorite meat or vegetables.  BBQ'd veggies are awesome!

Side Dishes
We recommend filling half of your plate with vegetables, which happen to taste great when grilled. Throw a corn on the cob on the grill for a side dish (although I generally recommend staying away from corn).  If you must have a baked potato, try it without the unhealthy fillings, try boiling new potatoes seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. 

When it comes to barbeque sauce, always choose them on the side to help limit fat and calories. By drizzling small amounts, you are in control of how much goes on your dish. Also try dipping your fork in the sauce first and then pick up your food. You will use a third of what you would normally pour. Always limit cream-, butter-or cheese-based sauces.

I want all of you to know that saturated fat has largely been disproven to produce the heart issues we have come to accept in the past.  All the studies done showing damage was from BBQ and the charred meat it typically creates!  Like I said before that seared fat immediately turns to Trans Fats which your body does not have the enzymes to break down, is pro-inflammatory, and can lead to cancer and a host of other degenerative diseases.  I love BBQ just like the next guy but just like candy, it must be done sparingly.

Have a blessed summer everyone!


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