OPINION: The Health and Wellbeing column with Heart Research UK – Heart healthy tips for BBQ heroes

We have just nicely celebrated the 25th anniversary of BBQ week and many of us will be heading outdoors to fire up the BBQ.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 10:16 am
Include plenty of salad and vegetables to make your BBQ colourful and nutritious and choose a healthy source of protein.
Include plenty of salad and vegetables to make your BBQ colourful and nutritious and choose a healthy source of protein.

We have just nicely celebrated the 25th anniversary of BBQ week and many of us will be heading outdoors to fire up the BBQ.

Foods traditionally cooked on BBQs, such as burgers and sausages, can be high in calories, fat and salt.

Here are some tips for enjoying a heart-healthy BBQ without compromising on taste.

Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK

Add some colour

Include plenty of salad and vegetables to make your BBQ colourful and nutritious.

Avoid using too much salad dressing as it can be high in calories.

Try rubbing a spicy marinade on pieces of courgette, bell pepper, onion, corn-on-the-cob and mushrooms and grill them on the BBQ.

Include plenty of salad and vegetables to make your BBQ colourful and nutritious and choose a healthy source of protein.

Choose a healthy source of protein

Foods that are high in saturated fat, such as red meat, sausages, burgers, butter and hard cheese, can increase your risk of heart disease.

You can cut down on saturated fat by swapping red meat, sausages and burgers by threading cubes of chicken, firm fish or tofu onto skewers with slices of bell pepper, courgettes, mushrooms, red onion and cherry tomatoes before grilling.

Swap white bread rolls for high-fibre alternatives

Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Why not switch from white bread rolls to wholegrain rolls or wholegrain pitta, brown rice or jacket potatoes.

Healthy grilled desserts

Ditch the high-fat puddings and switch to grilled slices of pineapple, bananas, peaches, nectarines or plums.

The natural sugars will caramelise on the BBQ, giving them a lovely sweet flavour.

Serve with a spoonful of thick, creamy yoghurt and sprinkle with a handful of chopped toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts or almonds.

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