5 Things To Avoid at Your Next BBQ (and 5 Healthier Alternatives!)

 

Let’s see if this sounds familiar:

You’re doing great on your diet. Your motivation is pretty high, and you’re really getting the hang of healthier cooking, and making smarter choices.

Then it happens…

You’re invited to a backyard barbecue, a wedding or some other food-centric event where you will have absolutely no control over the menu. Time to panic? Not really. Part of healthy living is knowing how to act when situations like this arise (and they always will.)

Venturing outside of your diet plan on special occasions is to be expected. Still, there are some foods that should be avoided no matter what. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 worst foods for your diet.

Soda

Often presented as the go-to beverage, soda is categorically bad for you. Not only is it loaded with sugar and artificial colors, but drinking soda can actually make you more thirsty, leading you to drink much more than you actually need. Even diet sodas aren’t a good choice. Artificial sweeteners may also lead to obesity, as some studies are now suggesting.

Try This Instead: Sparkling water, water with lemon, or club soda. Refreshing, fizzy, and much healthier!

Potato Chips

The two things that make potato chips so addicting are fat and salt. Unfortunately for casual snackers, they are also tremendously unhealthy. If you are trying to watch your waistline or your blood pressure, definitely stay away.

Try This Instead: Parties that offer chips will usually also offer veggie trays. You get the crunch you’re after, along with an added bonus: snacking on vegetables will actually make you feel full (unlike chips).

Processed Meats

Because they are so easily prepared, meats such as hotdogs, sausage, and cold cuts are often made available at parties. Not only are these foods loaded with sodium, but they also contain chemical preservatives.

Try This Instead: Meats are an important source of protein, but there are many healthier options. Chicken or turkey breast (without the skin) is savory, filling, and significantly healthier for you. Even the lean cuts of beef or pork are much more nutritious than their processed cousins.

Doughnuts

Sweet, colorful, and best of all, inexpensive – you can expect to see doughnuts at office parties, breakfast outings, or even offered as a dessert. The problem is, these seemingly innocent and sweet “cheats” are actually packed with unhealthy substances. You can find trans fats, refined flour, and loads of sugar in every doughnut. They may look light and airy, but they are packing hundreds of calories each (and they won’t even fill you up!)

Try This Instead: If it’s the carbs you’re craving, opt for a nice slice of whole-grain toast. If it’s the sweetness you’re after, ripe fresh fruits can hit that sweet tooth in a much healthier way.

Ice Cream

A favorite dessert at parties and restaurants, ice cream is probably better left alone. It’s loaded with saturated fat and sugar.

Try This Instead: If you’re staring at a menu, and fretting about what to choose, look for options like fresh fruit, frozen yogurt, or even a small sorbet.

Parties don’t have to be cause for alarm. Just stick to these healthier choices, and you’ll stay on track!


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