Thursday, June 02, 2016

Barbeque calorie counts--how to stay in range

This is Part Two of a long set of observations about America's signature foods from UT Southwestern,

There is no doubt that barbeque is sweet/salty, fatty, and utterly delicious. But it isn't exactly health food.

Lona Sandon, assistant prof of clinical nutrition at Southwestern, says low-fat does not necessarily mean lower calorie--because if the food is bland (fat is delish), people will eat more to get some satisfaction.

Some ideas to make barbeque a frequent treat:

--Offer taco salad bowls instead of burgers

--Substitute lean ground turkey for beef or cold cuts

--Grill up a lot of veggies to go alongside

Tips for lower cal preparation:

--For chicken wings, take the skin off--bake or grill, don't deep fry

--Make your own hot sauce without the butter and use low-fat versions of cream cheese, sour cream, or bleu cheese or use plain Greek yogurt.

--Try vinegar-based sauces instead of those with lots of brown sugar. Eat chicken and beef--to lower the calorie count. Make kebabs with big chunks of veggies alternating with meat.

--For ribs, beef ribs are leaner than pork ribs. Try baby back instead of normal. Consider brisket.

--Try a rub on veggie, turkey or soy burgers to get the burger taste.

--Use 100% beef franks and wheat buns or tortillas.

How to keep the food safe:

--Refrigerate foods the minute you get home from the store.

--If you are not using the meat for a few days, freeze it. Never refreeze thawed meat.

--Keep meat cold before putting it on the grill.

--Wash hands when handling meat. Also wash cutting boards, and utensils. Use different dishes for raw and cooked meat.

--Use a meat thermometer--don;t guess. Cook ground beef until juices run clear. Meat should reach 145 degrees, poultry 160.

--Pork needs to reach 155 inside to kill the parasite that causes trichinosis.

That last sounds horrible, but the rest sounds pretty darn yummy.

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