There’s nothing more synonymous with summer than firing up a BBQ for some outdoor grilling fun. Not only is it a great excuse to gather with friends and family, it also has some amazing health benefits if you choose the right foods!
So, the next time you take your cooking skills to the BBQ, arm yourself with these grilling facts that’ll do your body good!
Keep it Lean
While hamburgers and hot dogs are a BBQ go-to, they aren’t the healthiest of options. Both are loaded with saturated fat, so try these leaner and heart-healthy alternatives:
- Chicken - Chicken breast is a great source of protein and phosphorus, both in which aids in bone health. It’s also rich in niacin and can help lower triglycerides and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Seafood - The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish every week. Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are all loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids that can help lower blood pressure and keep plaque from clogging arteries.
Who says every meal needs a meat option? The following fruits and vegetables are awesome and filling alternatives to meat.
- Mushrooms - Portobello mushrooms are hearty and can fill you up just as much as a hamburger with way less fat and calories!
- Jackfruit - If you're a little bit adventurous when it comes to food, you might want to try grilling up some jackfruit! Described as a resemblance to the taste of pork, it packs a healthful punch of antioxidants and fiber!
- Tofu - While tofu gets a bad rap for being tasteless, it picks up flavors from the spices and marinades that you use. It can be quite the delicious meat substitute!
Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet not only staves off heart disease, it can also aid in cancer prevention - Chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants, pile on these colorful fruits and veggies to a skewer stick for a healthy kabob!
- Cherry tomatoes
- Yellow squash
- Bell peppers
When it comes to store-bought marinades, pay attention to the labels as they tend to be packed with unhealthy ingredients and too much sodium which could lead to heart disease.
For a healthier, yet equally delicious option, forgo the fatty and salty marinades and try these heart-healthy ingredients.
- Low Sodium Soy
- Herbs and Spices (rosemary, thyme, basil oregano, black pepper)
No matter where you decide to cook your meals, the food choices that you make are the most important component to good health. Adopting a healthy diet and exercise regimen can prevent heart disease as well as reduce your risk of cancer and other illnesses. Contact Parrish Medical Center for more information about how we can help you with your health and wellness needs.