Hello, everyone! It’s Shira, your LC.com nutrition contributor, here to talk about one of my all time favorite food events: the BBQ! With Memorial Day coming up just around the corner, I thought I’d share some helpful tips for making your next cookout a healthy one…

Start things off right.
First and foremost, pace yourself. Remember, there’s a whole summer to look forward to! I recommend kicking things off with crudités and hummus (2 – 3 Tbsp.). Beginning your meal with this fiber-rich combo will help you control your appetite, so you can enjoy the main course without going overboard.

Go for the healthiest cuts of meat.
Some of the leanest cuts of meat are the shoulder and the sirloin tip steak. Grass-fed bison and buffalo meat are also naturally leaner than beef (as well as a serious throw back to Oregon Trail). A rule of thumb: Meats labeled as chuck, round, and loin, are typically the lowest in fat.

Throw your veggies on the grill too!
I love grilling eggplant, asparagus, onion, radicchio, and peaches. Since the grill adds such a great smoky flavor, I like to keep my veggies simple with light olive oil, lemon and sea salt.

Choose your marinades and rubs wisely.
Because leaner cuts of meat can be on the tough side, I recommend marinades with acidic ingredients like Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and vinegar. Experimenting with herbs and spices like, mint, dill, cumin, and rosemary is also a great way to add a lot of flavor without additional calories.

Hang on to that flavor.
Some parting words of advice: Don’t cut the fat from meat too soon! Waiting to remove the fatty sections until after you’re done grilling will help your keep your meat nice and juicy.

What are your favorite dishes to grill over Memorial Day weekend?


Xx, Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD