Tips for a Healthy July 4th Barbecue

July 4th weekend is here! On this WFSB – Better Connecticut segment, I show you simple tips to make grilling at your July 4th barbecue a little bit healthier. As always, small changes can make a big difference.

  • Beef: For starters, always choose healthier meat. Choose grass-fed beef whenever possible. Also, Bison and Buffalo tend to be much leaner than traditional beef. Avoid corn-fed beef or beef that came from cows injected with antibiotics or growth hormones.
  • Ground Cuts of Meat: Always choose ground turkey or beef that is at a MINIMUM, 93% lean. Optimally, you want something in the 95% – 99% range. Avoid the 85% lean chopped meats, as these are high in saturated fat.
  • Fish: If you are grilling salmon, opt for wild Alaskan. Farm raised and Atlantic salmon tend to be high in contaminants and can pose health risks to you and your family. Salmon is especially high in Omega-3s, making it a great choice for grilling.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Vegetables are super tasty on the grill. Choose heartier vegetables, such as eggplant, Portabello mushrooms, peppers, onions and one of my favorites, asparagus. Use a grilling basket to avoid losing veggies through the grates of the grill.
  • Corn on the Cob: Grill your corn in the husk. The husk will help keep the corn dry during cooking so that it doesn’t overcook or become dried out. Grill corn for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Barbecue Sauce and Marinades: Optimally, it is best to make your own, but if you can’t or don’t have time, make smart choices at the grocery store. Avoid barbecue sauces and marinade that contain high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, preservatives, additives, artificial colors or artificial flavors. Instead, look for all-natural ingredients and those that are as “whole” as possible. Some sauces even will be made with agave nectar.

What are you cooking up this weekend? Any healthy treats?

Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy July 4th!

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