Barbecue Reality Check


During the summer months, many of us barbecue several times each week. I thought it would be helpful to write a series of blog entries that offer healthy barbecue options for whoever may be interested. This first entry is sort of a BBQ reality check.

After asking 30 adults to describe their "typical plate of barbeque food," I created an average plate. Take a look at how the typical plate compares to the healthier plate. With a few minor tweaks can save you over 800 calories and 57 grams of fat!

I must admit that I left out the beer (18 out of 30 people had booze in their description). If you drink beer, switch to light - for every 12-ounce bottle, you'll save 50 calories.


Typical BBQ Plate of Food:


  • 5 ounce beef hamburger on standard white bun
  • 1 cooked beef/pork sausage
  • Large scoop creamy coleslaw
  • Barbecue chips (large handful)
  • 16 ounce pink lemonade

Which equals...
> 1,500 calories!
> 85 grams of fat (31% more than you need for the entire day)
> 26 grams sat fat

Healthier BBQ Plate of Food:


  • 5 ounce turkey burger on whole wheat bun
  • 1 cooked lean turkey or chicken sausage (I love Shady Brook Farms - Hot style)
  • Grilled veggies (brush with light olive oil, salt and pepper to taste)
  • Baked barbecue chips (large handful)
  • Bottled water

Which equals...
> 654 calories
> 28 grams of fat
> 5 grams sat fat