Eight Tips for Low-Cal Grilling

Whether you are going to a barbecue or hosting one yourself, there are plenty of opportunities for making healthy choices. If you’re a guest, take along a salad or a low-fat dip so that you can be sure you'll have something healthy to nibble on. Choose smaller portions of meats, and keep your hands out of the chip bowl!

If you’re the one at the grill, here are some hints for keeping it healthy:

  • Choose seafood. Barbecued fish, shrimp, calamari, scallops or other seafood are delicious, healthy choices that are great sources of healthy omega-3 fats.
  • Almost anything tastes good barbecued! Try corn-on-the-cob, bell peppers, summer squash, onion, eggplant, Portobello mushrooms, or any other of your favorite veggies.
  • Choose reduced-fat or low-fat hot dogs. You could save yourself up to 40 calories and 5 grams of fat per dog.
  • Trim the visible fat off meat.
  • Turn plain meat into something delicious with a marinade. Marinate for just half an hour in your favorite combination of fresh herbs, citrus juice, garlic, chili sauce, or soy sauce.
  • Add some antioxidants to your diet with colorful vegetable kebobs. The pigments that give fruits and vegetables their color are powerful antioxidants. The more colors you include, the better! Try carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and different colored onions for the full spectrum.
  • Avoid full-fat salad dressings. Coleslaw and potato salad, whether homemade or commercially prepared, may be very high in fat and calories. If you can, make your own salad with a fat-free dressing. Add lots of fresh herbs for a tasty zing and added nutrients.
  • Go easy on the garlic bread. Most garlic bread is loaded with butter and is therefore very high in fat. Choose plain bread or rolls instead.