Barbeque Food

Relight Your Fire

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Barbecued food can be a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight, as it’s cooked in a similar way to grilling. That means you don’t need to add oil to the food – just the barbecue rack!

On the downside, most barbecues involve an abundance of food and drink, so it’s easy to overindulge. Here’s how to enjoy the barbecue without ruining your diet.

  1. Fill your plate just once and choose wisely. Barbecued chicken, lean meat, fish and vegetables are all great choices but remove the skin from chicken drumsticks or thighs and cut off any fat on chops or pieces of meat.
  2. Sausages and beefburgers are high in fat and calories so limit yourself to just one of each. If you’re expected to contribute some food, take along low-fat or good-quality sausages or homemade beefburgers made from extra-lean mince.
  3. If you’re in charge of preparing food, marinate meat and fish in fat-free marinades or use a barbecue seasoning rather than oil.
  4. Beware of chips and dips that are always at barbecues. Many dips are made with mayo, oil or soured cream and so are packed with calories. If available, stick to tomato or yoghurt-based dips such as salsa and tzatziki. And dip cherry tomatoes and pitta bread rather than tortillas and crisps.
  5. Fill up with jacket potatoes or bread and salad. Pasta and rice salads are good choices if they haven’t been made with mayo or oily dressings. Potato salad and coleslaw should definitely be avoided! And avoid adding extras, like slices of cheese, to burgers.
  6. Instead of mayonnaise, choose tomato ketchup, chilli or sweetcorn relishes to accompany salads – they’re much lower in fat. But remember they’re still high in salt so you shouldn’t use too much.

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