5 Tips for a Healthy BBQ

This year, lighten up your BBQ menu without sacrificing flavor. Here are 5 easy tips to eat healthy this BBQ season.

Reader's Digest Editors

Summer is the perfect time to be active, enjoy the outdoors, and become the master of your grill. But while enjoying popular summertime grilling staples like hamburgers, hotdogs, bratwursts, ribs, and sides laden with mayo, it’s easy to get weighed down thanks to the high fat and calories contained in these BBQ favorites. This year, lighten up your BBQ menu without sacrificing flavor. Here are 5 easy tips to eat healthy when grilling.

1. Watch the sauce
Traditional BBQ sauce can be full of salt and sugar, causing it to add unwanted calories. Lighten your BBQ sauce by swapping out the sugar for a sugar substitute and adding liquid smoke flavoring.

2. Skip the mayo
Avoid mayonnaise heavy sides by opting for German-style potato salad and sweet, tangy coleslaw. Can’t resist the creamy texture? Try a classic macaroni salad, but instead, opt for low- or non-fat mayo, or plain Greek yogurt, to soothe that craving.

3. Marinate
The simplest way to add flavor to meats is to marinate them overnight. Simply coat meats with a delicious homemade or store-bought marinade and refrigerate overnight in a large plastic bag. As soon as the grill is ready, take the meat out of the bag and place directly on the grill.

Plus: How to Marinate Chicken

4. Avoid processed meat
Skip brats, hotdogs, and sausages, which contain lots of added salt, fat, and calories. Instead, visit your butcher or meat counter to purchase fresh ground beef, turkey, or chicken. Also, consider grilling fish for great flavor without added fat.

5. Trim the fat (and skin!)
Trim off excess fat and skin from meats prior to grilling to keep calorie and fat counts low. Rely on good marinades and healthy sauces for added flavor.

Plus: 8 Items You Need for a Green BBQ

Sources: Epicurious.com, WebMD

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