Are you ready for BBQ season? Here are my top five tips to stay healthy AND savour every bite this summer

Are you ready for BBQ season? Here are my top five tips to stay healthy AND savour every bite this summer

  • Healthy Eating

  • By Desiree Nielsen, Registered Dietitian

    Grilling season is upon us…and at my house, I’ll be spending as much time as possible around my patio table with family and friends. If you ask me, everything tastes better with the addition of fresh air!

    Summer is the ultimate wellness season: gardens bursting with fresh produce and plenty of sunshine for swimming and hiking makes it easier to take care of yourself. Of course, as a dietitian, I recognize that there are plenty of wellness busters too. We tend to overindulge in the name of good times and the heat can make it harder to stay well. Keep it healthy – and delicious – this summer with these simple tips.

    1.Tame your sweet tooth with fruit

    If you think nothing could sate your love of ice cream, think again! The right frozen fruit can transform your idea of dessert. For example, frozen red grapes are incredibly creamy and sweet; I love serving a bowl of frozen grapes for an easy after dinner treat. Make one ingredient soft serve n-ice cream: blitz frozen, sliced bananas in the food processor until smooth. Serve with chopped nuts or drizzle with chocolate

    2. Hydrate healthier 

    Summer’s heat means you need to drink up…not sugar up. Most bottled drinks are loaded with more than a day’s worth of added sugar. Plain water is always best but when you are drinking a lot, you might need a little flavour inspiration. Try infusing waters with fruit and herbs: lemon and fresh thyme, cucumber and pineapple and orange and cardamom are a few of my favourite combinations. Simply crush the flavourings a bit in the bottom of your water bottle and add cold water.

    3. Marinate!

    At the start of every BBQ season, headlines talking about grilling and cancer may make you think twice about firing up the BBQ. Is there any science behind the headlines? Actually, yes…but you don’t have to swear off grilling forever. Marinating meats can help reduce the formation of pro-cancer compounds called HCAs (heterocyclic amines) by as much as 96%. Flip your meats more often and cook at a slightly lower temperature to avoid charring them.

    4. Keep it cold…and make it hot.

    Not to put a damper on all the fun…but harmful bacteria multiply rapidly at summer temperatures and keeping food out for more than an hour or two puts you at risk. At a picnic, the easiest solution is to keep everything in an icy cooler when not serving. When it’s time to cook, make sure food is served piping hot. You know the saying, ‘burger’s done at 71’? Use a meat thermometer to ensure that hamburgers are fully cooked to avoid getting sick from the all-too-common bacteria, E.coli O157:H7.

    5. Keep taking your daily dose of Bio-K+

    Speaking of bacteria, don’t forget your daily dose of the good stuff! It helps keep your digestive tract feeling great all summer long. Bio-K+ has been shown to be effective at fighting off potentially harmful bacteria, such as E.coli, making it your perfect ally in keeping your belly happy all season long.

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    Desiree Nielsen Registered Dietitian
    About the author
    Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian, author and host of the vvegetarian ccooking sshow, The Urban Vegetarian. Desiree takes an evidence-based, integrative approach to her dietetics work, with a focus on anti-inflammatory, plant-centredcentered nutrition and digestive health.
    View all articles by Desiree Nielsen
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