Sticking to your health goals can be tricky during the summer because of all the get-togethers weekend after weekend. Choosing the healthier option while everyone else is eating your BBQ favorites is not always the easiest thing to do, but it is a smart option that will keep you on track with all your health goals. 

So, how does eating healthy help your lungs? Different types of nutrients require different amounts of oxygen and produce varying amounts of carbon dioxide. Carbohydrates use more oxygen and produce more carbon dioxide, whereas fats produce less carbon dioxide for the amount of oxygen consumed. Refined grains, cured and red meats, desserts and french fries can increase the risk of lung function decline and COPD onset, compared to a healthy eating pattern including fruit, vegetables, fish and wholegrains. Whether you are looking to lose weight or just eat healthier, we have five healthy alternatives to help you enjoy your next summer BBQ. 

1. Grilled chicken 

Choose a barbecue chicken breast instead of hamburgers and hot dogs. Chicken contains less saturated fats and does not contain nitrates like hot dogs do. It is also recommended to avoid red meat that is well done because carcinogens may form when it is cooked at elevated temperatures. 

2. Grilled fish 

Fish is one of the healthiest foods in the world. It is loaded with protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your brain and body. Studies also show that eating fish regularly is linked to a 24% lower risk of children with asthma. Fish consumption also helps with mental health and vision protection as you age.  

3. Fresh vegetables 

At BBQs, there are likely to be appetizers like chips, wings, sliders, etc. It is important to avoid these because they contain excessive amounts of fat and are salty, making you more thirsty and likely prone to drinking more beer. Snacking on a fresh vegetable platter is a healthy alternative because you are consuming food that can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, etc.  

4. Salad 

Instead of eating pasta salad, potato salad, or coleslaw, opt for a fruit salad or a green vegetable salad. Many salads are made with excessive amounts of mayo and may contain lots of calories. Mayo also needs to be refrigerated or it can cause foodborne illnesses.  

5. Fresh tea 

Drinking soda or beer at a BBQ is a common beverage choice, but just remember they can be high in sugar. Instead of these options, opt for jasmine tea. You can always add fresh lemon or mint for a refreshing twist.  

 Choosing healthy alternatives to your BBQ favorites can be an arduous task but just remember you will see many health benefits as you age. A few alternatives will allow you and your guests to maintain a healthy routine while still eating delicious food. If you have any questions, visit our website or contact us!