There is something amazing about BBQs isn’t there? From the smells to the memories from childhood, dinner just tastes better when it has been grilled.

It is VERY easy to make some rather unhealthy choices while at your neighborhood Summer block party or the 4th of July BBQ at church without some tricks of the trade:

Swap the BBQ sauce for rubs. BBQ sauces are full of sugar, and the meat we eat is smothered in it. Then the BBQ sauce keeps getting reapplied as the sauce tends to melt off over the grill. Afterwards, the meat will be dipped into BBQ sauce if it is dry adding additional sugar to your meal. In contrast, a rub can sear the juices on the meat and spices are calorie free. You can even make a rub oil based to make it stick better which still won’t add Sugar, but be aware of the added fat.

Swap the macaroni salad for street corn. I know I am going to get major flack from my relatives for what I am about to write but there is absolutely no nutrition in macaroni salad, white pasta and mayonnaise. Sometimes I have seen an adventurous cook throw in some celery, but the nutritional benefits are negligible. I am a big fan of Grilled Mexican Street Corn. Super easy to make with ingredients you will find at a regular grocery store. It has 4 times the fiber of macaroni salad and isn’t processed. Also, does anything scream Summer more than eating corn on the cob outside? Get organic if you can.

Swap pie for grilled fruit. Remember “Stand by Me” and the blueberry pie eating contest? It’s a Summer thing for sure. The thing is, a piece of pie has around 350 calories and 52 grams of carbohydrates which will make for a major food coma at the end of the day. Instead, grill fruit. That’s right, since the grill is already hot and be sure to clean it BEFORE. Fruits such as sliced pineapple, peaches and pears are amazing grilled. It is light, refreshing and will make you able to stay awake for the fireworks unlike the pie. A serving of grilled pineapple has 46 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates for comparison.

Have a great time at the Summer barbeques, and be sure to enjoy the company first and the food second.

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