10 Unhealthy Cookout Foods (Slideshow)
May 4, 2015
If you want to eat healthy this summer, watch out for these diet-bombing cookout foods
10 Unhealthy Cookout Foods
If you want to eat healthy this summer, avoid these 10 unhealthy cookout foods.
Check the label on your store-bought barbecue sauce; many brands are high in sugar and sodium. Keep the sauce to a minimum or try making your own so that you can control the amount of salt and sugar.
Creamy Salad Dressings
If you’re serving salad at your cookout, don’t make it unhealthy by topping it with loads of creamy salad dressing (like ranch, Caesar, or Thousand Islands). Serve your greens with a squeeze of fresh citrus juice, a sprinkle of salt, and a drizzle of olive oil instead.
Fatty Cuts of Steak
Choose lean cuts of steak without visible, marbled fat and then marinate them in a simple, healthy, homemade marinade for lots of delicious flavor. As an added bonus, the marinade can help break down the muscle fibers, making your steak more tender.
Ditch the heavy breading this summer and try a grilled skinless chicken breast or thigh.
Hamburgers are a big part of summer cookouts, but they don’t have to be unhealthy. Use lean beef — 91 to 94 percent fat-free — or try a turkey burger or homemade vegetable patty. You can also skip the cheese and load your burger with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles instead.
Skip the jumbo dogs, Polish sausage links, and bratwurst; opt for light beef or turkey franks instead. Then, keep the toppings simple: chopped onions, mustard, and relish all make great, healthy choices.
If you’re trying to eat healthier, skip ice cream and ice cream bars and opt for healthy one-ingredient sorbet instead — just freeze berries or bananas and then purée in the food processor until smooth.
Coleslaw and other mayonnaise-dressed salads (like pasta, macaroni, or potato salad) can add lots of fat and calories to your cookout. If you want the same creamy consistency, try using nonfat Greek-style yogurt instead. Better yet, opt for vinegar-dressed coleslaws and salads.
Pies and Cakes
Skip the sugary cakes, cupcakes, and pies. Summer is the perfect time to serve fresh fruit for dessert. There are few things as refreshing as a crisp, cold wedge of watermelon after a barbecue!
We all know that potato chips are loaded with salt and fat, so why add serve them alongside other potentially diet-bombing foods like hamburgers or hot dogs? Instead, try crunchy whole-wheat pita chips with hummus or whole-grain tortilla chips with homemade salsa or guacamole.