How to Have a Healthy Barbecue This Summer
All you need to know to enjoy a healthy barbecue these sunny days.
Do you dream about spending the long summer days outdoors firing up the barbecue with family and friends and lounging in the sun while sipping a cool drink as the smell or fiery charcoals waft through the air? If so, you are not alone. You are also not alone if you strive to maintain a healthy diet but find that the dreams of summer barbecuing conflict with this lifestyle choice. Thankfully, there ways to enjoy both!
Here are our top tips for enjoying a healthy summer barbecue:
1. The barbecue
It is not only your diet that you need to look after when planning a summer BBQ. The type of grill you choose can have a big impact on the environment so it is important to choose wisely. If you are planning on barbecuing in your garden you should opt for a high standard that will last you many, many summers. If you are thinking about hosting your feast in a public area such as a park, don’t choose any old disposable barbecue. Get one that is sustainable and biodegradable to ensure you have an environmentally friendly day in the sun.
If you are having a meaty barbecue, it is important to choose the best kind of meat. Choose lean cuts to reduce your saturated fat intake and remove any skin from poultry. To keep the meat moist after it is cooked, marinade it beforehand. As shop bought marinades can have a high salt content, it is better to make your own. Marinades can be easily made using herbs, spices, citrus juices and a little oil.
If you are cooking chicken or other poultry, it is a good idea to first cook it in the oven before finishing it off on the grill. This will avoid any fears of the meat not being fully cooked through.
3. Veg and salads
It’s not only meat that tastes great on the barbecue - grilled vegetables can be a delicious and healthy alternative or addition to any outdoor feast. Vegetables that taste great off the grill include corn on the cob, aubergines, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes and asparagus. Of course you can barbecue whatever your favourite veg is and what is in season.
Salads are a great healthy accompaniment to any barbecue. If you don’t have much time on your hands and are opting for ready-made shop-bought salads, make sure they are fresh and don’t contain unhealthy salad dressings or fattening sauces. If you decide to prepare salads yourself, some great options include sweet potato salad, herb and pomegranate salad or spicy lentil and feta salad.
Spending the day outdoors in the heat and sunshine, it is understandable to find yourself in need of a cool and refreshing drink more often than usual. However, it is important to make sure that this doesn’t accidentally lead you to drink much more alcohol than you would under normal circumstances. Instead, prepare refreshing drinks that don’t have high alcohol or sugar content and that you can drink for the day guilt-free. Add fruit and mint to fizzy water for a refreshing alternative or prepare ice-cold tea to enjoy throughout your barbecue.
And, of course, when spending the day in the sun it is important to remember all the usual sun safety tips: Reapply sun cream regularly, wear a hat, have a shaded area nearby and stay hydrated.
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