Four Heart Healthy Cookout Choices to Try This Summer

Jun 27 • 2016

Grilling out with friends and family is an essential part of the summer, whether you’re celebrating a holiday or simply enjoying the nice weather. However, having a cookout should not prevent you from eating healthy. Here are ways to prioritize your heart health when grilling:

Go Heavy on the Vegetables
Vegetables are absolutely delicious on the grill, but many people forget the option of grilling veggies. There are a variety of ways to do this, whether you choose to slice up zucchini or put an entire ear of corn on the grill, or if you’d prefer to mix things up with vegetable kabobs. Mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and squash are just a few of the great vegetables that become even tastier with a nice char. Simply brush each vegetable lightly with olive oil and pop them on the grill.

Skip the Chips
Instead of greasy, salty chips and fatty dips, go for a healthier choice by making vegetable chips ahead of time. Pick from options such as kale, carrots, and zucchini, all of which will bake into a healthier, flavorful chip that you won’t feel guilty indulging on. Another alternative is having pickles instead – they provide the same crunch and flavor that can help curb your craving without fat, calories, and cholesterol that can be bad for your heart health.

Go Lean
Burgers are one of the most popular cookout items, but did you know there are ways to make burgers healthier? Purchase beef that is lean or extra lean, or buy ground turkey. Stick to the serving size and try to make patties that are 3 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards. Drain off any excess fat once you’re done cooking. You can also add green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and other vegetables to the meat to get an extra serving of vegetables.

Consider Fish
Many people don’t think about cooking fish on the grill, however oily fish like salmon and tuna are perfect options for a cookout. The omega-3 fatty acids they have offer a ton of great nutritional benefits. If you’re looking to add more flavor, keep it heart-healthy by going with lemon juice and fresh herbs like rosemary or parsley.

What are some of your favorite healthy recipes on the grill? Share them with us in the comments section.

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