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    June 8, 2021

    Healthful Choices for Grilling


    Grilling food outdoors is a rite of summer to be enjoyed with family and friends. As you consider the menu, try to plan outside the box and consider options besides the familiar (and fatty!) hot dogs and hamburgers. 

    Veggie Burger - Best Bets can save 9 or more grams of fat compared to grilled hamburger, 80% lean (230 calories, 15 grams fat) 

    • Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger (110 calories, 4.5 grams fat) 
    • Morningstar Farms Grillers, Original (130 calories, 6 grams fat)
    • Morningstar Farms Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger (120 calories, 6 grams fat)
    • Morningstar Farms Mushroom Lover’s Burger (110 calories, 6 grams fat)
    • Boca Burger, Original (100 calories, 1 gram fat)
    • Boca Burger, Grilled Vegetable (80 calories, 1 gram fat) 

    Tip: To cook veggie burgers on the grill, preheat grill to medium-high. Lightly spray each side of patty with cooking spray. Place patty on grill. Cover grill and cook for 3 minutes. Flip patty, cover grill and cook 2 ½ minutes. 


    Hot Dogs/Sausages - Best Bets can save up to 14 grams of fat compared to beef hot dog (169 calories, 15 grams fat) or Hot Italian Sausage (200 calories, 14 grams fat) 

    • Hebrew National 97% Fat Free (40 calories, 1-gram fat)
    • Kunzler Chicken Franks (110 calories, 8 grams fat)
    • Smart Dog, Veggie Protein Link (45 calories, 0 fat)
    • Smart Sausages, Veggie Protein Sausage (140 calories, 7 grams fat)
    • Shadybrook Farms Turkey Sausage (160 calories, 9 grams fat) 

    Tip: Before you begin, reduce sticking by oiling your hot grill rack with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel. Hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. Avoid cooking spray on a hot grill. You may need to reapply oil, especially if cooking low fat soy-based foods. 


    Fish - Best Bets include sources rich in omega-3 fats which promote heart health 

    • Grilled salmon fillet, 3 oz. (185 calories, 9.3 grams fat)
    • Grilled rainbow trout, 3 oz. (144 calories, 6 grams fat)
    • Sea Choice Salmon Burger (190 calories, 7 grams fat) 

    Tips: Brushing fish with ½ tsp olive oil to prevent sticking adds 23 calories, 2.5 grams fat; Use a grill basket to prevent fish from falling apart or falling through cracks; leave skin on as it holds the shape and seals in flavor during cooking. Fish may be marinated but only requires 20 to 30 minutes to prevent over-softening. 


    Chicken - Best Bets Save 3 to 5 grams of fat by removing skin before eating 

    • Chicken leg, meat and skin (175 calories, 8.6 grams fat)
    • Chicken thigh, meat and skin (91 calories, 6 grams fat) 
    • Chicken breast half, meat and skin (114 calories, 4.5 grams fat) 

    Tip: To prevent drying, grill with skin on but remove before eating to cut fat and calories. 


    Skinniest Cuts of Beef - Best Bets can save up 10 grams of fat per 3-ounce portion compared to beef ribs (187 calories, 10 grams fat); Pork country-style ribs (210 calories, 13 grams fat) 

    • Beef, eye of round (132 calories, 3 grams fat) 
    • Pork tenderloin (139 calories, 4 grams fat) 
    • Beef, top sirloin (153 calories, 5 grams fat) 
    • Pork, sirloin chop (164 calories, 6 grams fat) 

    Tip: You can tenderize lean cuts of meat by marinating with an acid such as lemon juice, lime juice, pineapple juice or flavored vinegar and adding fresh chopped or dried herbs like oregano, cilantro or mint. Oil is not necessary; it could cause flare-ups on the grill. If you must use oil, make it a healthful choice like olive oil or canola oil and use sparingly. 


    Side Dishes and Salads to Accompany BBQs: 

    No BBQ is complete without a colorful array of vegetables, salads and side dishes. More often than not, salads and side dishes that come from a deli are usually laden with mayonnaise. Try making them yourself with more healthful ingredients or look for healthier options from natural foods markets or gourmet delis. 

    Potato Salad 

    Replace half of the mayonnaise with rich, nonfat Greek yogurt. Leave skins on for fiber and added nutrients. Add fresh chopped dill or scallions. 

    Macaroni or Pasta Salad 

    Use whole grain or mixed grain pasta like Barilla Plus for added fiber and nutrients. Replace mayonnaise with olive oil; add chopped fresh herbs. 

    Health Slaw 

    Shred both green and purple cabbage; add shredded carrots for even more color. Add raisins, diced apples and lightly toasted pecans or walnuts. Dress with olive oil, a teaspoon or tablespoon of fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt and a flavored or light vinegar like rice vinegar. 

    Bean Salad Vinaigrette 

    Drain, rinse and mix together one can of each of the following: Green beans, yellow beans, garbanzo beans and red kidney beans. Add sliced red onion and low fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing. 


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