BBQ Alternatives: Make the burger healthier by adding vegetables to it; experiment with fruit and vegetable kebabs.
Fire up the grill. Your taste buds will love these healthy barbecue alternatives this summer. Yes, you can make veggies taste good, which will help you stick to a healthier diet. Barbecue season can be a delicious and healthy feast with just a few simple changes.
Summer barbecues and grills are usually associated with burgers, hot dogs, sausages and other animal proteins. It’s fine to eat some of these foods, but it’s better to focus on vegetables, listen to your body’s signals, make progress and stay active. By making meaningful small changes, you’ll develop healthy habits that you can maintain over the long term.
4 ways to a healthier barbecue
1. Roast seafood and add more vegetables
Let some seafood and fish sizzle on the grill as a healthier alternative to traditional burgers, steaks and hot dogs. But the most important aspect of healthy barbecue is the addition of vegetables. Adding vegetables automatically improves the quality of the dish because they are high in nutrients, fiber and water, which helps you get fuller and fuller faster.
- Listen to hunger signals
Always listen to your body’s physiological signals of hunger and satiety – don’t starve or stuff your stomach. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full.
- Focus on progress, not perfection
Remember, it’s not about perfection. You are human – when you have that particular meal or BBQ where you failed to make healthy choices, use the next meal as an opportunity to focus on healthy choices. The idea is to focus on progress rather than being perfect. Small changes or modifications to improve your overall health work by facilitating consistency.
- Be proactive
Consistently incorporate your typical healthy habits, such as physical activity. Throw a ball around with the kids or dogs at a barbecue. Take a walk with a friend or family member. You can consistently engage in physical activity and still enjoy a day of barbecuing.
10 healthy alternatives to barbecue
Instead of having animal protein as the main component of your meal, try to have half (or more) of your plate made up of grilled dishes or fresh non-starchy vegetables. Turn the protein into a supporting actor, and let the vegetables be the star.
Make the hamburger healthier
If you’re served a beef burger on a bun, add some vegetables to it. Remember that healthy habits are gradual, progressive improvements. Adding vegetables to a meal automatically improves it. Eating vegetables helps reduce food cravings and suppress hunger, helping you stay satiated and satisfied for longer periods of time.
Grill lean poultry or seafood
If you’re going to include animal protein in your barbecue, choose fish or seafood that contain healthy omega-3 fats, which are important for your heart and brain. If you’re used to eating red meat, try eating more lean poultry. If you usually eat poultry meat, take the next healthy step by eating more seafood and fish. Small changes or modifications will help you improve your overall health.
It is recommended that you eat two to three servings of fish a week, and lean poultry once a week. As for red meat, aim for one serving a month.
Experiment with kebabs
Interestingly, vegetables and fruits can be cooked on a gas or charcoal grill. Grilling gives vegetables and fruits a great flavor. Thread mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and pineapple on skewers for a healthier alternative to meat kebabs.
Baked potatoes and baked beans
Baked potatoes are a barbecue staple and are a hearty, nutrient-rich side dish, as long as they are devoid of butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon. Low-sodium marinades and sauces with no added sugar or mesquite can give great flavor and aroma to baked potatoes as well as grilled vegetables and fruits. If baked beans are a regular dish at your barbecue, try healthier alternatives with less sugar, such as black beans, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas or even lentil soup.
Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is one of the staples at barbecues, but it’s delicious and usually spread with butter and salt. For a healthier alternative, marinate it in skim milk and cinnamon and then grill it well on a hot grill. You won’t be disappointed. It has an even sweeter flavor than regular corn.
This favorite barbecue side dish can easily be made healthier than the commercially available potato salads. Replace regular mayonnaise with low-fat sour cream or low-fat yogurt. Add some dill or cucumbers for a pretty alternative.
You can make a whole-grain pasta salad instead of eating the refined flour in typical white pasta salads. Make sure that vegetables are the main character of the dish. You can grill tomatoes, onions and mushrooms to include in your whole-grain pasta salad.
Chips and gravy
Potato chips are dry, not very hearty, salty and greasy. Focus on those foods that have more fiber and water to keep you full and help you eat less of the main meal.
Dip hummus (garbanzo beans, lemon, garlic, spices) with a rainbow of chopped vegetables (cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli). You and your guests will love this crunchy, beautiful vegetable crudite. People who come to our Pritikin program in Miami enjoy many great barbecue recipes, including our famous Broccomole sauce, which uses avocado instead of broccoli.
Water is always the best first choice for hydration. But if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to store-bought lemonade, splash some homemade lemonade consisting of water, lemons and a little Splenda or Stevia in your glass. Or drink unsweetened iced tea. Avoid added sugar, sweeteners, or large amounts of sodium when choosing drinks.
Sweet fruit treats
Try grilling a banana. Bananas caramelize when grilled, creating a delightfully sweet and healthy barbecue treat. Tropical fruits in general are great for grilling. You can even try honeydew or cantaloupe.
You can make meaningful changes that will help you develop healthy habits that you can maintain over time. You can do this by making small changes and improvements, focusing on progress (not perfection) and working on consistency.