How to Have a Healthy Barbecue
Barbecuing is by far the most popular cooking method in the summertime. Whether you’re on the patio with friends or family or out in the sun, a good ol’ BBQ is a great way to enjoy meat and fish differently. But beware, a barbecue can quickly turn into a calorie bomb! Here are the FizzUp trainer’s tips for a healthy barbecue.
HAVING A HEALTHY BARBECUE: SNACKS
First of all, grilled food takes relatively more time than food you prepare using more common cooking methods. Nothing is better than offering a few healthy tide-me-overs as your guests wait. This might be bad news for potato chip fans. But you should avoid potato chips (aka crisps) and other processed snack foods and offer vegetable sticks instead with a side of homemade FizzUp hummus. You can find the recipe in the FizzUp Nutrition Guide. You can also opt for olives and dried tomatoes. And why not try making your own homemade veggie chips? They contain less salt, more flavor and are much better for your health.
Forget about beer and other alcoholic drinks, which are high in calories. Offer your friends and family some fruit-infused water. It’s sweet, easy to make, low in calories and so refreshing! Just immerse fresh fruit in water for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. The great thing about this beverage is that it’s 100% natural and there’s no added sugar. Make it fun by adding colorful and unusual fruit to surprise your guests. Watermelon, lemons, cucumbers, strawberries or apples… there’s a fruit for everyone to enjoy!
FizzUp tip: Want to know more about fruit and the number of carbohydrates they contain? The FizzUp trainer will guide you on how to control your diet from A to Z.
HAVING A HEALTHY BARBECUE: MEAT, FISH OR VEGETABLES?
Barbecuing gives your ingredients a unique flavor, but this cooking method can also be dangerous for your health. Cooking at very high temperatures creates toxic molecules (heterocyclic amino acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) because of the Maillard reaction. These two substances are considered as carcinogenic, genotoxic and mutagenic. The smoke produced when the grease falls onto the embers releases these two dangerous compounds, which then end up on the food while it’s cooking. To prevent this from happening, limit the contact between your food and the flames/embers. For instance, you can cook your food in aluminum foil packets. Avoid eating the parts that are overcooked (black) and use marinades that reduce the creation of toxic substances.
When buying your meat, opt for lean meats like chicken or turkey. Avoid red meats and high-fat processed meat, such as sausages and merguez. If you prefer fish, you can enjoy salmon, tuna or sardines that are high in omega-3. For vegetarians and vegans, you can also use the barbecue to grill your vegetables.
FizzUp tip: Need some healthy recipes to get you ready for summer? The FizzUp trainer is one step ahead.
HAVING A HEALTHY BARBECUE: SIDES
During a barbecue, a bun, meat and sauce is usually the winning combination for your taste buds, but not your hips! You should also avoid store-bought sauces during the barbecue. They’re one of your waistline’s worst enemies because they always contain too much sugar, salt and fat. Have a look at the labels of your favorite sauces to find out the nutritional values. You can also make it easier by making the sauces yourself. This way, you’ll know exactly what’s in it, and especially what’s NOT.
For your sides, it’s best to reduce your intake of bad fat (back away from the chip bowl!) Put together a mixed salad made with pasta, rice, quinoa or semolina. Add a few raw vegetables and you’ll get your daily intake of complex carbohydrates, grains and fiber.
HAVING A HEALTHY BARBECUE: DESSERT
Do you need ice cream to finish your barbecue with a bang? Definitely not! It would be a shame to let all your hard work go to waste with an ice cream cone. Have a fruit salad instead, with seasonal, local and preferably organic fruit. This dessert will cool you down with it’s hot and give you your fill of vitamins!
Barbecuing CAN be a cooking method that fits perfectly into a balanced diet, so there’s no reason to deprive yourself! If you follow the FizzUp trainer’s advice, you’ll know how to indulge without wreaking havoc on your waistline. Now fire up that grill!