The 12 Worst Foods You Can Eat at a Backyard Barbecue

Don’t let excess fat and calories creep up on you


Watch out for delicious but high-sugar desserts. 

Ending the summer with a bang often means throwing a backyard barbecue. Whether you are cooking, grilling, or baking, you want to make sure that the foods you prepare are healthy and delicious.

Click here for the 12 Worst Foods for You at a Backyard Barbeque slideshow.

When you are socializing and catching up with friends and family, it is so easy to unconsciously consume more calories than you planned — especially when all of the food is delicious! Luckily, you can offer guests healthy alternatives for many of your favorite unhealthy dishes.

When you are working toward a healthy lifestyle, it is important not to cut yourself off from junk foods completely. Instead, allow yourself a little wiggle room and enjoy a small amount of the sweet or salty foods that may not be so good for you. But just a small amount.

We spoke with Kristen Gradney, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about the worst foods you could eat at a backyard barbecue.

Baked Beans

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Baked beans are loaded with sugar.

“On average, a half-cup serving of baked beans contains 13 grams of sugar, almost five times the amount in a sugar cube,” Gradney says. “You may get sluggish and tired after eating this because of your body’s reaction to the large amount of sugar.” Instead, she recommends a black bean and corn salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar.


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Cheeseburgers are perfect for barbecues, but not for your waistline.

Cheeseburgers are high in fat, calories, and sodium, which puts this food on the naughty list. Gradney recommends trying a white-meat turkey hot dog with a whole-wheat bun