7 diet tips for summer BBQ season
Simple swaps to make your summer BBQ a healthy one!
- Swap mayonnaise for mustard
Avoid creamy salads made with mayonnaise that are high in fat and unwanted calories. Instead of mayo mixed through your BBQ favourites, potato salad and oleslaw, use some wholegrain mustard mixed with Greek yoghurt instead.
It will still be creamy and taste great, but will be much lower in fat and calories and will be much better for your health, being a good source of protein, beneficial probiotics and calcium. Don’t forget to make a big green leafy salad with plenty of salad vegetables topped with a healthy dressing of olive oil, lemon, mustard or balsamic vinegar, with some fresh herbs or extra flavour and goodness.
- Swap sauce for salsa
Tomato and BBQ sauce contains sugar and is high in sodium. In just 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce you are looking at one teaspoon of sugar and 160mg of sodium – and who just stops at 1 tablespoon of sauce. Some healthier toppings for your sausage roll or BBQ steak are mustard, fermented veggies, or homemade pesto, or salsa. You can buy sugar-free or reduced, and sodium-reduced tomato sauces now, which are better choices.
- Swap butter for lime juice
If you like BBQ corn on the cob you should hold off on the butter, this will add a lot of unwanted fat and calories to your meal. Instead opt for a pinch of sea salt or a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.
- Swap store-bought patties for homemade
Make your hamburger meat patties with half mushrooms and half, preferably grass fed, beef or lamb mince. It will half the fat content while boosting your vitamin D intake, and no one will even notice it contains mushrooms. Finely chop or blitz your mushrooms first in a food processor, cook in a frying pan, then add to mince and make your patties ready for the BBQ.
- Swap red meat for fish
Try throwing some salmon or tuna steaks on the BBQ instead of always using red meat. Fish is rich in healthy omega-3 fats, which helps support immune and brain function as well as helps dampen inflammation in the body. Too much red meat in the diet can have the opposite effect, increasing inflammation in the body. Like red meat fish is also a good source of protein and it contains iron.
- Know your meats
Sausages are an Aussie BBQ favourite but unfortunately considered a processed meat. They contain a preservative called sodium nitrate that can be damaging to your health if consumed regularly. They are also often made from poor quality meat and are high in fat. For a healthier option go for organic sausages, preferably made from grass-fed beef or lamb, which are made from good quality meat and are free from preservatives.
- Don’t over-cook your meat
When barbequing meat, chicken or fish make sure you don’t burn it. When these foods are overcooked, burnt or charred carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines are formed that can increase your risk of cancer.