The 8 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue from The 8 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue

The 8 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue

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The 8 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue

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.

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Barbecue Sauce

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

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.

Thinkstock / Joel Albrizio

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is favored by many, but 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.


Ice Cream

If you’re trying to eat healthier, skip the ice cream and opt for healthy one-ingredient sorbet instead. Just freeze berries or bananas and then purée in the food processor until smooth.

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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!

Thinkstock / Robert Fesus

Potato Chips

We all know that potato chips are loaded with salt and fat, so why 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.

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Potato Salad

There’s nothing inherently bad about potatoes: They’re actually a great source of vitamin C and fiber, but they contain more calories than other veggies. Plus, most potato salads are smothered in way too much full-fat mayo and will cost you about 360 calories and 20 or so grams of fat per cup. — Nicci Micco

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The 8 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue