Warm weather and barbecues go hand in hand. With so many tempting foods, it can be work to control your cravings. BBQ sauce, cheese, sweet drinks, and desserts can all be sugar-filled. So, as much as you want to enjoy everything, it’s important to do it in moderation.
Did you know that the average meal at barbecues has over 1,600 calories and 170 grams of carbohydrates?
Of course, meal plans are different from person to person, but the American Diabetes Association (ADA), recommends a normal meal have 45 to 60 grams of carbs. In just two tablespoons of BBQ sauce, you can rack up 15 grams of carbs and 10 grams of sugar. That’s before you even get to the s’mores!
But there are some easy ways to stay on track at summertime barbecues.
Tips for Cutting Calories at Barbecues
Fill your plate using the diabetes plate method. Load at least half your plate with non-starchy veggies, like grilled zucchini and peppers, leaving only a quarter of your plate for starchy veggies like corn and potato salad. Fill the last quarter with proteins like chicken or a turkey burger.
Serve or bring a tray of non-starchy veggies like carrots, celery, tomatoes, peppers and broccoli. Add a non-fat dip like salsa, fat-free dressing, or hummus.
Remember, non-starchy vegetables have about 5 grams of carbohydrate in 1 cup raw (½ cup cooked). These carbs are usually fiber, so unless you eat more than 2 cups raw, you probably don’t need to count the carbs.
Create a salad bar. Leafy greens, low-fat cheese, nuts (almond slices or walnuts), and a side of low-fat salad dressing go great with BBQ.
Pack flavored seltzer water or add fruit wedges to ice-cold water for a healthy and refreshing drink.
Make your own BBQ sauce. Combine:
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup diet cola
- 1 tablespoon onion flakes or diced onion
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
For dessert, try this tropical fruit salad with mango-flavored chutney from Diabetes Forecast:
Peel and dice:
- 2 small kiwis
- 1 large banana
- 1 medium orange
- 1 medium mango
- 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 2 tablespoon mango chutney
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
Happy grilling and check out our Pinterest for more recipes.