When the temperature starts to rise, I love to cook meals on the barbeque. I have one of those built in barbecues which meals no propane tanks to switch. Yet, like any other type of cooking, barbecuing does not always equal healthy eating. Nitrate filled foods, nutrient poor white bread and high salt seasonings are just some of the culprits that cause meals to become unhealthy. Here are four ways to make healthy meals on the grill this summer.

Whole Wheat

This summer swap out your white hamburger and hot dog buns for a whole-wheat version. According to the mayo clinic.com, "a slice of commercially prepared white bread has 66 calories, 1.9 grams protein and 0.6 grams fiber. A slice of whole-wheat bread has 69 calories and provides 3.6 grams protein and 1.9 grams fiber." Thus, typically whole-wheat versions have more protein and fiber. Overall there are more nutrients in whole wheat bread like "selenium, potassium and magnesium." This is not to say that all whole wheat or whole grain breads are healthy. Check the label to make sure sugar or corn syrups isn't on the label. Some companies try to trick consumers by throwing the term whole wheat onto the package.

Low Salt

Salt and Garlic salt are two popular seasonings for grilling on the barbecue. However, if you want to reduce your sodium, try a salt free seasoning. Mrs. Dash has many options to choose from. Add Mrs. Dash® Fiesta Lime Seasoning Blend to chicken or steak for a delicious twist on fajitas or carne asada. Add Mrs. Dash® Lemon Pepper Seasoning Blend to fish for a refreshing citrus taste. There are also blends specifically made for chicken, steak and hamburgers.

Grill your veggies

A steak does not always have to be the star of the grill. Try vegetable kabobs. Some great veggies to include are zucchini, onions, squash, eggplant, mushrooms and peppers. Brush them with heart healthy olive oil and sprinkle with a salt-free seasoning as mentioned above. The vegetables only take a few minutes to cook and are delicious.

Nitrate Free

Hot dogs are a yummy barbeque favorite. Regular hot dogs are full of a chemical called nitrates used to color or preserve food. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and other ills. Applegate farms is a company I regularly buy meat from. They have many types of natural, uncured and organic hotdogs. You can even buy their products online.

Sources:

Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet Mayo Clinic

preventcancer.com/

mrsdash.com

Applegate farms

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