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What to Eat and What to Avoid at Summer BBQs

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Jacqueline PaumierGuest Blogger
July 02, 2016 · 1.8k Views

You’re months into your new health and fitness routine, and can we just say you are looking amazing this summer! Why throw away all that progress and hard work? The summer time can be tempting when it comes to eating badly. BBQ’s in particular are filled with classic summer favorites that can easily sway you off tract. Fortunately, there are always smart choices you can make for your health.  We’ve gathered some BBQ do’s and don’ts to keep you looking smokin’ all summer long.

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1. Deviled Eggs

This one is a party pleaser and for a reason. Who doesn’t love eggs and mayonnaise? And in some aspects mayonnaise can actually be good for you, when it has been made fresh with clean ingredients like organic mustard, oil, and eggs. Unfortunately, most BBQ’s have ingredients filled with processed mayonnaise that not only packs more oil than average but also includes a ridiculous amount of sugar. What makes matters worse is that deviled eggs are small, and it’s easy to find you eating multiple over the course of a party and with calories clocking in at 126 for 2, it may not be the best choice.

Bring this instead: Angel Eggs

Source: Skinny Taste

Pinterest is filled with healthy deviled egg alternatives, and our personal favorite is the avocado based recipes. Avocados are a great mayonnaise substitute thanks to its creamy texture and ability to easily take on other flavors. While avocados are high in fat, it the healthy monounsaturated fat, so they contribute to your brain health not your waist line. Avocados are also packed with fiber and contain more potassium than bananas. We love these Guacamole Deviled Eggs by Gina Homolka from Skinny Taste. Not only do they incorporate lots of creamy avocado but also a bi of jalapeno for an added kick.

>> SEE MORE: What to Buy and What Not to Buy at the Farmers' Market

2. Veggie Burgers

Surprise! Bet you weren’t expecting this one? While a veggie burger may seem like an ideal choice at a BBQ, unless you are vegetarian/vegan or made it yourself, it’s best to keep away. veggie burgers at a BBQ are usually thrown in as a last minute choice for guests and were likely picked up from the frozen food section at random. For this reason you’re likely to find over 20 processes ingredients including caramels coloring, and ingredients you can’t even pronounce. If your host (or another thoughtful guest) brought lentil or chickpea based veggie burgers, then you’re in the clear!

Bring this instead: Turkey Burgers

Source: Foodie with Family

Turkey is a perfect option for meat lovers who can’t stay away from a good BBQ. Turkey is incredibly rich in protein, packs high amounts of iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorous, and is low in fat! This healthy meat also gives you plenty of room to get creative, like this Spinach and Feta Grilled Turkey Burger from Food with Family. The combination of protein, antioxidants, and zinc in this recipe leave you feeling full and guilt free!

3. Loaded Potato Salad

Mischiefous Mayonaisse is back again, and this time it’s brought around bacon and potatoes. Oy vey. Okay, let’s start with the small…er… loaded potatoes. We all know that nutritionists have been recommending adding potatoes to the “no no” list due to the fact that they are high in carbohydrates, but can they really be so bad? Well, Scientists tracked the diet of over 120,000 participants for 12 years and found that over 4 years those who incorporated potatoe based foods gained an average of 3.4 pounds. Now take those statistics, cover it in mayo and toss in some greasy bacon. Can you see the problem?

Bring this instead: Sweet Potato Salad

Source: A Saucy Kitchen

Are sweet potatoes really that much better for you than regular potatoes? Definitely!  Sweet potatoes pack less calories and carbohydrates than regular potatoes. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium and dietary fiber. We love this Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad from A Saucy Kitchen as an alternative for BBQ. Not only does it combine superfood Kale with nutrient rich sweet potato, but it also has this maple tahini dressing that will leave you saying, “What mayo?”

>> SEE MORE: Best Fruits and Vegetables to Grill This Summer

4. Beer

On a hot summer day, a beer seems like a no brainer, but that’s part of the problem. The amount of calories in one bottle of beer is like a small meal In itself, and during the course of a BBQ you may have 2-3. According to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition the combination of sugar and alcohol increases blood sugar by 20 percent higher than expected.

Bring this instead: Sparkling Lemonade

Source: With Salt and Wit

We are obsessed with Salt and Wit’s refreshing Skinny Sparkling Mint Pineapple Lemonade. Fresh pineapple juice replaces the high amounts of sugar found in traditional lemonade and the sparkling water gives it that “summery cocktail” flavor.

5. Potato Chips

Bet you can’t have just stick with none. Potato chips are a high fat, high fast-acting carbohydrate you will want to avoid this summer. In 2011 the New England Journal of Medicine examines which foods were associated with the highest rates of weight lost and potato chips made the top of the list. As addicting as these snacks may be, it’s probably best to stay away from these bad boys.

Bring this instead: Kale Chips

Source: A Couple of Cooks

While you may not be a fan of kale in their raw form, crispy kale chips are definitely worth a try. This tasty snack is incredibly easy to make and is as good for you as they are tasty. Kale is low calorie, has zero fats and is also packed with nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium. It’s the perfect choice for aiding your digestion and elimination. We love these smoky Chipotle Kale Chips from A Couple of Cooks. Bring them to your next BBQ as a healthy alternative to store bought potato chips.


jacquelinebuch profile picture
Jacqueline is a modern day gypsy, who has lived in several countries and has traveled to over 20. A sucker for all things pleasing to the senses; her world revolves around food (any and all food), foreign indie films, and salsa music. The first to jump off a waterfall and the last to say no to sushi, she has been described as a bit of an “extremist”. In her perfect world, no one ever spells “cool” as “kool” and Ryan Gosling has more tattoos. She enjoys spending her free time in her New Orleans home with her Cubano guitarist husband and 1-year-old son.
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