Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner and that means fun in the sun and plenty of outdoor picnics! Grilling is a great way to beat the heat in the kitchen and cook outdoors with friends and family. While grilling is always a fantastic healthy option, there are a few unhealthy items that often sneak their way into our dishes.
Many seasonings and sauces used for grilling are loaded with salt and fat. Condiments like teriyaki, soy, and barbecue sauce are very high in sodium. Our side dishes often become problematic too as we put out bowls of potato chips and put high-sugar sodas in the coolers. All of these things are avoidable, check out these tips to having a heart healthy and delicious BBQ!
- Pick the perfect protein.
Fish, skinless chicken breast and lean ground poultry are all healthier choices. With your grill skills, your guests won’t even miss the red meat, which usually has more saturated fat.
- Watch your portions.
A healthy portion of any type of meat is about 3 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards. If that sounds small, just remember all the delicious grilled veggies and side dishes that will be keeping it company on your plate!
- Skip the salt.
Marinating or rubbing spices on poultry, fish and meat can add amazing flavor with the bonus of being able to use less salt. Or you can opt for a reduced fat sauce to marinate in! Don’t drown your grilled masterpiece in salty sauces, sugary condiments or heavy dressings – sometimes a squeeze of lemon is all you need.
- Always add color.
Who can resist fresh summer produce?! Just about all your favorite colorful fruits and veggies can be grilled, alone or in kebabs, giving them delicious flavor that can replace any unhealthy sides.
- Grill fruits for dessert.
The natural sugars caramelize in the high heat, giving them extra sweetness and flavor. Try sliced apple, pear or pineapple or halved bananas, figs, nectarines, peaches or plums – yum!!
You don’t have to sacrifice taste for health! Check out some great grilling recipes here: https://recipes.heart.org/categories/27/bbq-and-grilling.