How to Make a Healthy Family BBQ

BBQ-sausages

Most people are eager to head out into the great outdoor as soon as the sun rears its head. When mealtime strikes, the last thing a person wants to do is cook for the family in a boiling hot kitchen, which is why you might be tempted to whip up a feast on a healthy BBQ. 

However, if you’re worried about your loved ones piling on the pounds, read these top tips on how to make a healthy family BBQ.

Make the Right Meat Choices 

burgers

The meat you choose can determine whether you have an unhealthy or healthy BBQ. For example, you would be smart to pick up lean cuts of meat to reduce salt content and saturated fat during a barbecue. 

If you cannot resist a sausage or a burger, you should review the nutritional information on the product packaging before you buy. 

Always opt for the products with the lowest saturated fat and salt content, which can help you and your children maintain a healthy body and weight. 

Don’t Cook Meat on a High Heat 

Many people love firing up the BBQ during the summer, but cooking meat on a high heat can have serious health consequences on your body. 

That’s because grilling meat on a high heat can potentially cause the formation of carcinogens heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). 

According to a study, people who regularly consume well done meats, which could be barbecued, grilled, pan-fried or boiled, are unfortunately 60% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, lengthy cooking times could potentially lead to an increased risk of stomach, breast and lung cancer. So, turn down the heat to keep your BBQ healthy. 

Precook Meat in the Microwave 

If you want to enjoy a healthy BBQ, you should precook meat in the microwave before you add it onto a hot grill. 

Studies have proven that microwaving meat on a medium heat for two minutes can decrease HCAs in meat by a whopping 90%, so you can reduce the above health risks when consuming meat. Yet, you must throw away the juice, which is where the HCAs will go. 

Buy Healthy Proteins 

chicken

While sausages and burgers are a BBQ staple, they also are not healthy dishes to consume.

If you want to ensure you create a healthy BBQ that can help people avoid piling on the pounds, buy healthy proteins, such as chicken breast, lean ground poultry, and fish. 

For example, salmon and trout are jam-packed full of flavor, nutrients and healthy omega-3 fats.

While chicken kebabs and turkey burgers are low in saturated fat and offer a great chargrilled taste that will make your kids’ mouths water. 

Choose Premium Sausages 

You will more than likely be torn between premium and budget sausages when prepping for an upcoming barbecue. 

Budget sausages might allow you to stock up on bangers, they are the opposite of healthy. 

You often get what you pay for when it comes to sausages. The more expensive the bangers, the shorter the list of ingredients it will feature, so the higher the meat content it will have.  

Use a Marinade 

People worried about carcinogens in meat should use a marinade to enjoy a healthy family BBQ. One 2008 study discovered that a herb or spicy marinade could decrease the formation of HCA.

Add a little chilli, thyme, sage, garlic, or pepper into your marinade to create a delicious, healthy BBQ dish. Rosemary can also reportedly decrease HCAs by 90%

Grill Vegetables on the BBQ 

grilled-vegetable-skewers

Nothing is healthier on a BBQ than grilled vegetables. They will have a chargrilled taste to create a delectable dish the whole family will love.

Also, you can cook them on a high heat without fear of carcinogens. 

If you don’t want to say goodbye to meat but want to make your BBQ dishes healthier, you should make kebabs, which could feature half meat and half vegetables.

It will help towards your kids’ five per day, too.

Tenderise Meat for a Healthy Family BBQ 

While fat can make meat taste moist, it is unhealthy for your body and could add inches to your waistline over time. 

There are many healthy ways to tenderise your meat. For example, you can hit it with a tenderiser prior to cooking, or you can marinade it in lemon juice or vinegar.

This works as the acidity in the ingredients can break down the meat’s muscle fibres, which can make the tougher areas much softer and easier to eat once cooked. 

Create a Nutritious Salad 

Shop-bought salads can be laden with calories, and you might even be tempted to add on dressings or accompaniments, which could be full of fat, sugar, or salt.

For this reason, you should make your own salad dressings, potato salads and coleslaw. 

You could even ditch mayonnaise and create a homemade, low-fat yoghurt, cucumber, and garlic dip instead, known as tzatziki.  

Buy Wholegrain Buns 

Regardless of whether you want beef or chicken burgers, sausages, or hot dogs, you should swap white buns for a wholegrain alternative. 

This will ensure you consume more fibre and it will add texture and flavour into the dishes.

You could even decrease your calorie consumption with an open-faced burger or a lettuce wrap. 

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