July 4th BBQ staples to avoid if you're looking to eat healthy
If you're planning on watching your waistline this Fourth of July, there are two things to keep in mind.
"Be mindful of side dishes that are high in calories and low in nutrients," says Kristy Del Coro, senior culinary nutritionist at Rouge Tomate.
Specifically, Del Coro suggests limiting portions of BBQ staples such as pre-made marinades, which can be high in sodium and sugar; fatty cuts of meat like ribs and pork belly; and sugary drinks like sweet tea, lemonade and frozen daiquiris.
Instead, Del Coro suggests 90% lean grass-fed beef or bison for burgers and nutrient-dense toppings like avocado, pickled red onion, tomato or grilled peppers and onions to minimize excess sodium, sugar and saturated fat.
"Choose condiments wisely," says Del Coro. "Even small amounts of cheese, ketchup, relish and mayonnaise can quickly add up."
You should also be mindful of your beverage intake. Choose low-calories drinks like club soda muddled with fresh fruit or cucumber-infused water over more sugary varieties. If drinking alcohol, alternate a calorie-free nonalcoholic beverage between drinks and drink lighter options.
"Choose a light beer or wine -- for example, I think a nice dry sparkling wine rosé is great for summer -- which will both have significantly fewer calories than mixed sugary drinks," Del Coro says.