The 8 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue

These foods could sabotage the body you've worked all summer to maintain
Better Barbecue with Ashley Koff

Celebrity dietician Ashley Koff shares her tips on how to have a better barbecue with delicious foods

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Potato salad will pack on the pounds.

Plan on hitting a few end-of-summer barbecues? It’s challenging to attend a cookout and not indulge in tasty grilled burgers, smoky potatoes, fruity pies, cakes, and — a favorite for many — fried chicken.  Everything that looks good is not necessarily good for you. That’s why we’re sharing a few tips on what to avoid — and store-bought barbecue sauces are at the top of the list.

The 8 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue

It’s almost impossible to bypass a T-bone steak fresh off a grill or peach cobbler topped with ice cream — but maybe you should. Those foods can easily add about three thousand calories to your plate. Instead, if you want a creamy texture, opt for coleslaw. Low-cal cabbage is also a rich source of isothiocyanates: compounds that amp up the body’s natural detoxifying enzymes.

Dietician Juliette Kellow suggests “filling your plate just once and choosing wisely. Barbecued chicken, lean meat, fish and vegetables are all great choices, but remove the skin from chicken drumsticks or thighs and cut off any fat on chops or pieces of meat.”

We’re sharing a few foods we think you should avoid at your summer barbecue.

Barbecue Sauce

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Homemade barbecue sauce is healthier — compared to store bought.

Check the label on your store-bought barbecue sauce; many brands are high in sugar and sodium. Keep the sauce to a minimum or make your own so that you can control the amount of salt and sugar. 

Fatty Cuts of Steak


Run far away from 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.