Everyone loves a barbecue, but those fun summer get-togethers can derail your diet and possibly raise your blood sugar and blood pressure. This does not mean you have to give up barbecues just because you have diabetes. Instead, follow these hints so you can have a meal that is both delicious and healthy, whether you are hosting or are a guest.
Cut the fat! Trim visible fat off of meals, and try healthier choices, such as skinless chicken, fish and lean cuts of meat. Grill individual-sized pieces, so you can watch the portion size.
Marinate or season meat. Marinating meats in citrus or olive oil-based marinades and covering them in sauce before grilling can help reduce the formation of possible cancer-causing substances that form when meat is cooked at height temperatures over open flames. Plus, these marinates are tasty and healthy alternatives to high-calorie barbecue sauces. Skip marinates altogether and rub dry seasoning directly into the meat before cooking for a low calorie, yet tasty choice. You may lose the cancer-reducing benefits of marinates, but it is an excellent option for people who are looking to avoid extra calories.
Lighten up salads. Instead of serving carb-heavy salads, such as macaroni or potato salad, try a green salad, fruit salad or bean salad.
Skip the salty foods. Avoid highly processes meats, like hot dogs and sausages. Even chicken or turkey dogs have a lot of salt. Pass on the chips and pretzels, too, and head to the vegetable platter.
Grill sliced vegetables. Try cutting them into chunks and threading them on a skewer for kebobs. Popular selections include eggplant, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, different kinds of peppers, mushrooms, onions and pineapple. Spray vegetables with olive oil, and season with herbs, spices and a bit of garlic before cooking. Fresh corn on the cob is another great option.
Smarten up desserts. Instead of ice cream, serve frozen fruit bars, fresh fruit or Jell-O. Try grilling fresh pineapple or bananas.
Limit choices. Studies have shown that the more food choices are available, the more people will eat. Avoid overeating by creating simple meals with one choice of meat, several vegetables, a salad and fruit for dessert.
BYO-Meal. If your are going to another person’s house for a barbecue, offer to bring a side dish and dessert. Not only is it a nice gesture, but you will know there is at least one dish that works for your diet plan.
With almost everything in life, moderation is the key. Pick one or two favorite dishes that may not be the healthiest choices, and pair them with other, healthier options. Remember that healthy eating is about making choices.