Summer is here and the weather is great. This means it is BBQ time. I love to meet up with friends and family, cook outside and make the most of this amazing weather. However BBQs can be difficult if you are trying to eat healthily. The good news is that BBQs don't need to be unhealthy, and with a few small changes can be full of great nutritious food. To help you all here are 5 tips on how to eat healthily at BBQs
The main food from BBQs is meat. However not all meat is equal. Avoid the processed meats bought from supermarkets such as sausages and burgers if you can as these can be full of added fat and other ingredients to bulk it out. Instead why not try making your own burgers (with 90-95% lean mince). If this isn't an option choose unprocessed, lean meat such as chicken breasts, steaks, or fish (like salmon, trout or cod).
Condiments can be the one thing that ruins your diet and you don't even realise it. Many people do not count them as food and so do not think about how much they are adding to their meal. However the processed condiments sold in supermarkets can be full of calories and added sugar and have most of the good nutrition taken out. For example 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup can contain 20 Kcal and 4g of sugar! The same amount of mayonnaise can contain 94 Kcal! Instead try making your own sauces and dips (like guacamole) as you know what is in them.
Salads are another food that people don't realise could be bad for them. The problem is that everyone automatically thinks all salads are healthy and low in calories. This means they feel able to eat as much of it as they want. Unfortunately salads can be full of mayonnaise and other dressing that add lots of calories. Try and choose salads that have plenty of fresh, green vegetables and that have the dressing on the side. This means you can control how much is added.
There are usually lots of junk food at BBQs (like crisps). Unfortunately these are usually high in calories and have little nutritional benefit. If you are hungry when you go to the BBQ you can end up eating loads of these while you are waiting for the meat to cook. If I know that it is going to be a while until I have the main meal is ready I always have a small snack before I go so I don't end up eating loads of junk food while I am waiting.
Be careful of what you are drinking. Fizzy drinks are loaded with added sugar and calories and have no nutritional benefit. If you don't want plain water then try making infused water. I love cucumber water as it tastes great and you are getting some of the cucumber benefits as well (plus they are fresh now and I have been picking them from my grandmother's garden!). Just cut 1 small cucumber or 1/2 large cucumber into thin slices, place in a jug, add 1 litre water, leave in the fridge for 20 minutes to cool down and it's ready!