Grilled peaches rest on a plate.

10 tips for a better barbecue in Georgia

APR 10, 2018
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In Georgia, barbecue rules. If you’re planning your first cookout of the season, give it a healthy spin with these 10 tips from local Kaiser Permanente dieticians.


1. Love burgers? Choose ground beef with less fat — 90–95% lean meat is ideal. To keep the burgers moist and tender, add an egg white, BBQ sauce, or chopped onions and peppers.


2. For healthier barbecue sandwiches, make your pulled pork lean and juicy by roasting a pork loin and shredding with a fork. Then offer a selection of sauces on the side for guests to add as they choose — hot and spicy, honey-infused, vinegar-based, lower sodium, and sugar-free are all tasty options.


3. If your guests aren’t into beef or pork, you can grill chicken, fish, or even go vegetarian. Grilled portabella mushrooms or tofu can make a great base for the sauce of your choice. And grilled veggies make a delicious side dish.


4. Lighten up your deviled eggs with light mayonnaise or a blend of mayo and fat-free sour cream. You can also use only half the egg yolks to reduce fat and cholesterol.


5. Make potato salad with plain yogurt for a tart and healthy treat. Use Greek yogurt for extra protein, and make sure to include plenty of chopped veggies like onions, peppers, celery, and even sweet pickles.


6. If you’re craving a salty crunch, offer baked chips, tortillas, pretzels, and air-popped popcorn.


7. Stay hydrated by adding cucumber, lemon, orange, or lime slices to water or seltzer. It’ll help you avoid drinking your calories and make a cool, refreshing option during those hot summer days.


8. Offer sugar-free drinks, like diet soft drinks, sugar-free lemonade, club soda (splash of fruit juice optional), or iced tea sweetened with Splenda or Stevia.


9. Grill up some peaches or pineapples. The heat really brings out their sweetness! You can serve whipped topping on the side, but you probably won’t need it. If grilled fruit seems too challenging, a selection of fresh fruit — especially seasonal berries — will go over just as well.


10. For a more indulgent dessert, top angel food cake with blueberries and sliced strawberries. Precut the cake to prevent oversized portions, then add the berries on top to infuse it with sweet juice. To make things extra indulgent, offer a dollop of vanilla yogurt or fat-free whipped topping.


With these options in mind, you’ll find that making the most of summer doesn’t have to mean ignoring what your body needs. So put on your flip-flops, break out the sunscreen, and enjoy the healthy side of summer — a perfect time to thrive.


For more substitutions, check out this Kaiser Permanente chart on healthier home cooking.


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