Give Your Backyard BBQ A Nutrient Boost

As the temperature outside heats up, fewer meals are prepared in the kitchen and more meals are prepared outside on the grill. Grilling is a great low-fat cooking method and brings out delicious flavors in food. Preparing heart healthy meals on the grill doesn’t have to mean giving up your families favorite foods. There are many lean meats to choose from that are lower in fat than other meats but full of flavor and are worth making room for on the grill. Grilled fruits and vegetables can also add a nutrient boost to your barbeque and are a great compliment to most any grilled meat. So for your next backyard barbeque, don’t be afraid to throw some pineapple or peppers next to your pork chops and read these grilling tips to make sure that your barbeque not only tastes good but is also good for you:

Tips for selecting lean meats:

  • Poultry: When it comes to poultry, choose skinless chicken or turkey breasts. Lean ground turkey or chicken also works great for burgers.
  • Beef: Look for beef cuts that include the word “round” or “loin” as they are generally lower in fat. T-bone, strip and flank steaks are also lean. When making beef burgers, use 93% lean ground beef or higher.
  • Pork: When buying pork, look for the words “loin” or “leg” as those cuts tend to be lower in fat. Popular lean choices include pork tenderloin and top, center and loin rib chops.
  • Seafood: Seafood is generally low in total fat, saturated fat, and calories so it is hard to go wrong with grilled seafood. Try tuna or salmon fillets, which work great on the grill and are rich in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids.   

Tips for grilling fruits and vegetables:

  • Wash fruits and vegetables well with running water before grilling.
  • Slice fruits and vegetables about the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Grilling times will vary depending on the food being grilled so keep an eye on your food and cook until crisp and tender. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Firmer fruits and vegetables work best on the grill. Try corn on the cob, eggplant, zucchini, squash, asparagus, Portobello mushrooms, pineapple, bananas, mango or peaches.
  • Depending on the size and firmness of the food, you can wrap in foil, throw directly on the grill or stick pieces on a kabob. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what method works best for the fruits and vegetables that your family likes.
  • To avoid sticking, brush fruits and vegetables with a little oil and sprinkle vegetables with some herbs for extra flavor.  

For a delicious and healthy grilled family meal try Asian Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple.

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