SHAPE UP: Tips to enjoying a healthy BBQ with friends

Reporter:

Dewi Campbell-Jones

BBQ season is here and the average person can consume well over their daily intake of calories just in this one meal so here are three tops tips to eat healthily at a BBQ.

1. Choose healthy meats

The best type of meat to consume is sustainably raised – ideally pasture-raised or grass-fed beef and free-range chicken. When the animals are raised in their natural environment (ie roaming in the pasture, feeding off the grass, exposed to the sun) they are the healthiest and therefore have more nutrients and are better for us.
Sustain yourself with sustainable fish.

For fish you want to buy wild or organic farm-raised fish. Focus on fish like cod or salmon, which are higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Reconsider the hot dog.Especially avoid processed meats with nitrates like hot dogs and bratwurst, which are some of the worst offenders.

2. Go vegetarian (at least with your BBQ side dishes)

When it comes to side dishes, go for greens. Make sure to complement any meal with lots of vegetables – especially green leafy veggies like spinach or kale, and preferably some raw as well as cooked.

Green leafy vegetables provide your body with nutrients to counteract some of the harmful effects of the other foods at a BBQ.

Buffer your indulgences. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that, in general, people should aim to eat really well and healthy 80-90 per cent of the time. That way, when we indulge in habits that may not be considered as healthy, the body has the nutrients to better deal with it.

3. Choose complementary condiments.

Aim for au natural condiments. Instead of using marinades that are loaded with corn syrup, sugar and preservatives focus on seasoning your food with simple good-quality ingredients that are all health-promoting in their own right – i.e. olive oils, sea salts, fresh herbs and spices.

Avoid white bread and stick to wholemeal.

And finally...it’s not all about the food. Enjoy good company – food is one main aspect of nutrition, but being with friends and family and having a great time at a BBQ also contributes to overall good health!

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