Healthy Grilling Tips

Who doesn’t love grilling out in the summer? But did you know that name brand barbecue sauce you are ready to slather on your chicken could have as much as 4 teaspoons of sugar per serving? And many name brand barbecue sauces have sugar as the main ingredient. If you are diabetic you have just added a carbohydrate choice to your protein serving (and maybe more). Store bought marinades can be loaded with salt and sugar. But we want our meat tender – what can we do?

Vinegars and citrus juices are great marinating agents and adding herbs and seasonings of your choice can make it a delicious option on the grill. Using a meat tenderizer mallet and gently pounding the meat can help tenderize your protein as well. Be careful not to pound the meat too much and tear it up. Marinating chicken breasts in orange juice and fresh garlic is amazing as well as olive oil and fresh basil.

Adding vegetables and fruits onto the grill helps caramelize and bring out the sweetness of the vegetable and fruit and are a great low calorie, fast option on the weekdays for a quick dinner. Add whatever veggies and fruit you like in a grill pan (lightly greased with olive oil) or make veggies kebobs with your protein source on the side. Asparagus is plentiful right now and grilled with a little olive oil and fresh garlic is a yummy side with your chicken, fish or beef.

Written by: Cheri Rott, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist