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Do You Want a Healthier Grilling Season?

By Donna Stark

There is no better way to enjoy the warmer evenings ahead than to turn on your grill and get it piping hot for springtime barbeques! But before you grab your ingredients and head outdoors to start cooking, you may want to take a look at the ingredients in the condiments and sauces you love so much. Because even though they are a great way to add some extra flavor to your meals, that's not the only thing they could be adding. You could also be looking at additional sugar, sodium, and calories if you aren't being careful! So, when you are out shopping for your next grilled meal, keep the following tips in mind.

Avoid Additional Sugar

You probably already know that a diet high in sugar can increase the risk of significant health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, but did you know that sugar doesn't only come in the form of candy bars and soda? Sugar can sneak into your everyday meals too! It's important to familiarize yourself with the different names of sugar and to check the ingredient lists of your condiments, dressings, and sauces. If you need to replace them with healthier alternatives, try to do so with oil and vinegar-based or reduced sugar options instead.

Avoid Extra Salt

Even though we need sodium in our diets, too much of it can wreak havoc on our health. If you aren't sure what a healthy amount is, ask your doctor, and then try to stay within the recommended daily amount. This may even mean you will need to start looking for, and purchasing, condiments that have no added salt or are low in sodium. You can also control the amount of salt that is added by finding recipes online and making your own. 

Avoid Unwanted Calories

Have you ever looked at the number of calories on a nutrition label and thought you were OK? And then, after eating, you looked at the serving size and realized you made a big mistake? Remember, when you are adding sauces and dressings to your foods, you have to account for the serving size, and sometimes, that serving size is a lot smaller than you think it should be! A great trick to limit the number you consume is to use ingredients lower in calories, such as vinegar, mustard, salsa, and lemon juice. You should also consider using yogurt-based condiments instead of sour cream and mayonnaise.

Staying Healthy During Grilling Season

Grilling your foods can be a healthier way to cook, but don't lose all the health benefits by smothering your food in sauces and dressings that are high in sugar, sodium, and calories. Choose your products wisely so you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal outdoors!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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