Summer barbecues are an American tradition. There is something about smoke in the air accompanied by good friends, a good beer or wine, and maybe some cool tunes on the portable iPod speakers that just produces a great vibe. One thing barbecuing can also produce is some extra weight in the midsection, as we liberally splash on barbecue sauce and butter on our ribs, chops, and corn. I will teach you some healthy grilling tips this summer that will boost the flavor content of your meals while cutting back on calories and unhealthy substances.
Lose the Butter, Use Olive Oil Instead.
In 2004, The FDA approved claims that monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, are heart-healthy. So it makes sense to avoid saturated fats, such as butter, as much as possible. Margarine, being a hydrogenated oil (trans fat), should also be avoided. Olive oil has a fantastic flavor that tastes great on corn (sprinkle with a little garlic powder and salt, or creole seasoning) and chicken (make a olive oil and fresh or dried herb spread and baste your chicken as you grill).
Lemon Will Reduce the Amount of Salt You Need
Next time you grill, cut back on the salt sprinkles and try a little fresh lemon juice on your vegetables and meats. The lemon tends to impart a nice savory flavor to your food and makes it taste a little saltier without adding as much sodium. Try fresh lemon juice, the bottled kind may have preservatives or other additives your body doesn’t need or want.
Make Your Own Barbecue Sauce Using Agave Nectar
High fructose corn syrup is something I try to avoid whenever possible. A better choice for my sauces is to buy some Agave Nectar, a sweetener which is becoming more and more available (you can get it at most Wal-marts). Agave nectar has a low glycemic index, meaning it does not cause the same swings in blood sugar as table sugar, syrups, etc. It also has a greater sweetening power than plain sugar or corn syrup so a little goes a long way. I like to mix some agave nectar with some vinegar, lemon, garlic, and maybe a little mustard or herbs for my barbecue sauces.
Don’t be afraid to ditch the pre-made sauces and seasonings and make your own from scratch. With some garlic, lemons, and herbs, most food tastes great just from the grilling process and smoke itself. You don’t need a lot to make great tasting food on the grill this summer!
Park, Michael. ‘Liquid Gold’: Olive Oil Replacing Butter. Foxnews.com
Glycemic Index Lists. Elitefitness.com