While public events may be on the back burner, nothing screams summer quite like a backyard barbecue. Not only can it be done while social distancing, but there’s also no better way to break bread (or a few bones) than an outdoor party or weekend gathering with friends.
No barbecue is complete without a fired-up grill and all of the fixings! And while we’d all love to partake in the summer tradition, it can be tough to stick to your eating goals when burgers, ribs and alcoholic drinks are calling your name.
Here are a few things to consider before indulging:
Think Outside of Burgers and Dogs
Kebabs let you mix meat and grilled veggies. Salmon tastes great, especially with a few drops of lemon. Grilled corn and asparagus make great, healthy sides in a matter of minutes. Show your sophistication and diversify your palate at the same time.
Beer is Not Your Friend
There’s nothing we enjoy more than having an ice-cold brew while downing a burger or three. But, if you don’t have a “cheat day” mindset, there are unintended consequences beyond your BAC. Everyone’s favorite party drink has about 150 calories, give or take, per 12 oz., which add up when having multiple drinks.
The Hidden Calories in Hamburgers
Your average 6 oz. burger made with 80% lean ground beef has about 425 calories – and that’s without the bun. Throw on another 100 calories or so if you’d like to turn that hamburger into a cheeseburger, and even more if you’d like pickles and ketchup. Healthier options include bison, turkey, or even tuna.
Are Veggie Burgers Getting Better?
Food technology continues to innovate at a rapid rate, but does it replace the real-deal rawness of meat? Even the most well esteemed food critics are starting to come around, as is your favorite fast food restaurant.
Leaner Cuts Mean a Leaner You
If you’re the one hosting, trim the visible fat and remove any skin from your meat before preparing. If you’re the guest, don’t be afraid to ask the host which cuts of meat they have on hand. For instance, a sirloin tip and top is a healthier option than a T-bone steak.
Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?
A hot dog is NOT a sandwich, according to an official press release from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. “Our verdict is… a hot dog is an exclamation of joy, a food, a verb describing one ‘showing off’ and even an emoji. It is truly a category unto its own.”
But, Seriously, Hot Dogs…
Just one hot dog can contain over a quarter of your day’s sodium allowance and over 14g of fat. But, like their barbecue counterpart, the burger, healthier alternatives are starting to emerge.
Shrimp on the Barbie!
What burger? From shrimp and scallops to salmon, cod, calamari and lobster, literally anything goes when it comes to grilling seafood. Did you know that a 6 oz. portion of lobster provides you with 28g of protein, but only 1.2g of fat? That is, if you can resist dipping it in butter. Shrimp contain about 1g of fat per 3 oz. serving, but that fat comes from beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.