3 Tips For Preparing Healthier BBQ

low and slow

If you love the taste of smoked barbecue made low and slow, chances are you're not eating it for its health benefits. However, when prepared correctly, various meats made in pit smokers or even on pipe grills can be surprisingly healthy.

Don't be fooled -- not every brisket or rack of ribs is good for your health, and any food is best enjoyed in moderation. But, if you prep your smoked foods and BBQ right, your delicious dining can also be a guilt-free experience.

To enjoy the delicious flavor of smoked meats without ruining your diet, read on. Here are three ways to prep healthy, flavorful BBQ:

1. Go Easy on the Salt

Many barbecue recipes rely on salt brines, rubs, and high-sodium marinades to impart flavor on tougher meats. Though a bit of salt can certainly make a smoked dinner more delicious, too much sodium can have negative health consequences, such as worsening hypertension (high blood pressure). Rather than depending on salty flavors and spices, try using low-sodium alternatives. Many spice brands offer salt-free sauce mixes and rubs. Consider using red pepper or wine to season meats, since both these low-sodium ingredients are rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants.

2. Round Off Each Meal With Grilled Veggies

Though you may love smoking meats low and slow, don't be afraid to fire up the grill for other parts of your meal. Grilled veggies make a delicious addition to any barbecued meal while being low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. You can even throw fruits like pineapple on the grill for a sweet, healthy twist!

3. Mix Up Your Meats

Though most (89%) of U.S. grill owners say they usually barbecue beef, don't limit your barbecuing to red meats alone. Vary the types of proteins you cook and eat to benefit from an array of health benefits. White meats like fish and chicken tend to be lower in saturated fat, and eating the oils from fish has been associated with numerous health benefits. Fish like trout and salmon are perfect for smoking low and slow.

If you've been thinking about giving up your love of barbecue to eat healthier, don't walk away just yet! With these simple steps, you can still enjoy delicious smoked meals without sacrificing your health, diet plans, or your love for good barbecue.