8 Unhealthiest Cookout Foods

You may not even know that many of the cookout foods that you enjoy can be swapped out for a healthier option

Try some of these tips and suggestions to have the best cookout on the block.

Summer is almost in full swing and barbecues, cookouts, and picnics are happening every weekend. While many of us are getting ready to fire up the grill and serve up some classic barbecue fare this season, there are a few healthier choices  you can make. You may not even know that many of the cookout foods that you enjoy can be replaced by a healthier option. We've compiled a list of the unhealthiest cookout foods and what you can serve instead to still have a delicious cookout.

Click here to see the 8 Unhealthiest Cookout Foods (Slideshow)

Hamburgers and hot dogs are a cookout classic — and there's no need to cut them out entirely. Try opting for lean hamburger beef or even trying a turkey or vegetable burger. Same goes for the hot dogs — try a lean beef or turkey dog. Skip the bacon, cheese, and mayonnaise, and add a little mustard and fresh vegetables instead. We've found even more popular cookout foods, from mains to sides and desserts, that we've made healthier. Sounds easy enough, right?

By just making a few changes, you can completely transform your cookout menu into something healthy and lower in calories for your family and guests. This summer is about being fit, healthy, and active. Don't get weighed down by unhealthy cookout foods at you barbecue. Try some of these tips and suggestions to have the best (and healthiest) cookout on the block.

Sugary Barbecue Sauce

Check the label on your store-bought barbecue sauce. Many of them are super high in sugar and sodium. Keep the sauce to a minimum or try making your own to ensure healthy ingredients are used.

Mayonnaise-based Salads

Pasta, macaroni, and potato salads are full of heavy and thick mayonnaise-based dressings. Instead, use a nonfat Greek-style yogurt for the base. You can also use a light, citrus dressing with olive oil and fresh herbs.

Click here to see more Unhealthy Cookout Foods

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

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I get a kick out of reading about all the "unhealthy" foods we're all eating. When in my opinion, if we'd just eat these unhealthy foods in moderation, we'd be fine. I've tried lean hamburgers on the grill, they come off tasting flat and dry. I've tried "healthy" hotdogs and they don't taste anything like the hotdogs I enjoyed as a youth.
I have to agree 100% with the 4 previous commenters.


This is the most outdated, head-in-the-sand advice possible. As another comment pointed out, the truth is that low-fat = healthy is a dangerous myth that must be busted. Wake up and do your own research on how good, natural fat benefits you. Eliminating processed carbs will pay off way more than shoving in weight watcher bars with 1000 ingredients.


No marbled steaks??? No fat burgers??? How bout ya just slap a chunk of tofu on the grill! You'd get the same flavor! Whoever wrote this is a complete tard when it comes to grilling!


Low fat recommendations are misguided and revealed to be unhealthy. Everyday more and more reports are reveling that a high carb low fat diet is contributing to the increasing rate of obesity.


Very helpful. Now I will start grilling pasta, hummus, cottage cheese, and maybe even rice, And don't forget the grilled yogurt. Yummy! And to think that all these years I've been wasting my time with rib-eyes, burgers, and franks.

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