Q A Hey Nute Guru – BBQ season is well upon us, and I'm nervous about all of the unhealthy temptations at my friends' pool parties. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers, potato salad, ice cream, alcohol – the list goes on and on! How do I battle it? The basic principle here is to pace yourself, make smart decisions the whole way through and remember that momentary indulgences may not be worth it long-term. While BBQ foods tend not to be the stuff that’s going to win any nutrition awards, you can partake in all of your favorites and still walk away with your shorts buttoned. It just means making the right choices—and, no, you don’t have to limit yourself to the corn on the cob and watermelon. Just skip (most of) the worst BBQ dishes because the best ones are often just as satisfying. Preparation is Key Whether you’re the host or the guest, taking a little extra time to prepare healthy foods can make all the difference. Whether you’re making turkey burgers instead of hamburgers to save a few calories, or choosing coleslaw over potato salad to get your mayonnaise fix, smart preparation choices can help you win the war before the battle has begun. Buy leaner meats or trim the fat prior to grilling. Use more homemade blends of olive oil and vinegar instead of store-bought dressings. Don’t be afraid to bring healthy selections to a friend’s BBQ, either…other nutrition-conscious guests will thank you for it. Go Big Early It turns out that appetizers may be a saving grace at a BBQ. Crudite with hummus or deviled eggs are filled with good taste & good nutrition, and will help fill you up before the ‘heavy’ stuff is served. Remember, the smart choices start here…you’re not eating all of the healthier appetizers and all of the entrees. Find a balance and your waistline will thank you. Don't Get Saucy Wanna know what’s in BBQ sauce? Sugar – lots and lots of sugar. If you have to have some on a chicken leg, use less…a lot less. If you frame the event (in your mind) as a cookout instead of a BBQ, you might find this easier to do. If you wouldn’t typically cook inside with heavy sauces, don’t do it here either. Use sensible marinades instead of those heavy sauces and save yourself the empty calories. Continued on next page. Nute Guru “You can partake in all of your favorites and still walk away with your shorts buttoned. It just means making the right choices – and, no, you don't have to limit yourseld to the corn on the cob and watermelon.” 3 Nutrition Quarterly · 2021 – Volume 3