With summer gearing up, we’re finally getting into grilling season! Unfortunately, some traditional summer meals are not always the healthiest.

With summer gearing up, we’re finally getting into grilling season! Unfortunately, some traditional summer meals are not always the healthiest. Grilled meats can be high in saturated fats, which is the type of fat that contributes to heart disease.  Often side dishes can sneak in too much sugar, salt, and fats.

The redo...
Great grilling doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Selecting lean meats, swapping out high fat ingredients, and adding in fruits and veggies can create a filling, healthy meal. Opt for lean meats. Look for ground meat that is at least 90% lean, or choose lean cuts like loins or rounds. Be reasonable when picking toppings. Full fat cheese, mayonnaise, and ranch dressing add a lot of fat and calories. Lettuce, onions, tomatoes, mustard, vinegars, and pickles are low-fat, low-calorie alternatives that add a crisp flavor. Make smart side dishes with lots of fruit and veggies. This doesn’t have to mean a traditional greens salad. Coleslaw, grilled corn, fruit mixes, and seasoned asparagus can help make a balanced plate.

Traditional Hamburger
Ingredient:
6 oz hamburger meat (80/20)
• 315 calories
1 white bun
• 100 calories
1 slice American cheese
• 71 calories
1 T mayo
• 99 calories
1 T ketchup
• 16 calories
2 T relish
• 39 calories
Total:
640 cal.

Hamburger Re-Do
Ingredient:
3 oz hamburger meat (93/7 )
• 156 calories
1 whole wheat bun
• 114 calories
3 leaves lettuce
• 3 calories
2 slices tomato
• 7 calories
2 slices onion
• 2 calories
1 T mustard
• 10 calories
1 T low sodium ketchup
• 16 calories
3 slices pickle
• 3 calories
Total:
312 cal.

Traditional Coleslaw
Ingredient:
1 head cabbage, shredded
• 180 calories
¼ cup shredded carrot
• 25 calories
2 T minced onion
• 4 calories
½ cup mayonnaise
• 790 calories
1/3 cup sugar
• 258 calories
¼ cup whole milk
• 37 calories
¼ cup buttermilk
• 34 calories
2 ½ T lemon juice
• 10 calories
1 ½ T white vinegar
• 4 calories
Total:
1876 cal.
Per serving:
187 cal

Coleslaw Re-Do
Ingredient:
1 head cabbage, shredded
• 180 calories
¼ cup shredded carrot
• 25 calories
2 T minced onion
• 4 calories
¼ cup Lite Mayo
• 290 calories
¼ cup sugar
• 194 calories
½ cup skim milk
• 42 calories
2 ½ T lemon juice
• 10 calories
1 ½ T white vinegar
• 4 calories
Total:
752 cal.
Per serving:
75 cal

 This article originally appeared in the May 2016 Better Living Missouri section published by the Courier-Post.