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Stay Healthy While Grilling

By Paul Rothbart

When the weather gets warm, thoughts turn to cookouts. There's something special about getting family and friends together, grilling some tasty food, and eating outside. Traditional fare such as burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and ribs, while delicious, are not the healthiest choices. The occasional burger or hot dog is not going to kill you but you can grill all season long and stay healthy. Here are some food options for a healthy cookout. 

Make Turkey Burgers

A cookout is not a cookout without burgers. Who says they have to be beef? Ground turkey forms well into patties and makes a delicious burger. Be sure to use a meat thermometer and cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. You do not want a rare turkey burger. Turkey pairs well with most cheese and you can use condiments ranging from sweet to spicy. Garnish with fresh vegetables, avocado is especially good. Other healthy burger substitutes are tofu and veggie burgers. Find the one that suits you best.

Roasted Vegetables

Vegetables contain plenty of nutrition and cook nicely on the grill. Corn on the cob is delicious roasted and can be placed on the grill right in the husks. Peppers, eggplant, and squash are also excellent candidates as are onions, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. Brushing them with olive oil before cooking will add flavor as well as the health benefits of the oil. Veggies can be cooked in foil packets or on skewers with lean meat such as chicken or turkey. Large portobello mushrooms can be placed right on the grill and make a nice substitute burger patty.

Healthy Salads

In addition to the star of your dish, you have to have sides. Macaroni and potato salad as well as coleslaw are traditional, but you can do better by making side without mayonnaise. A caprese salad is a delicious combination of flavors that is low in calories and very nutritious. Slice tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Place a piece of the cheese on a tomato slice. Top with a fresh basil leaf and drizzle with olive oil. Easy to make and sure to be a hit with your guests. An avocado salad is another tasty yet healthy option as is a fennel salad. You can always go with a standard green salad as well.

Cookouts are fun and a great way to socialize. But you don't have to suspend eating healthy while grilling. Try some of these options for a delicious and nutritious cookout meal.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rogers, Ark.

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