CMS BBQSummer time means warm weather and longer days, perfect for enjoying a backyard barbeque with friends and family! Cooking with a grill is perfect for all kinds of foods, and the practice has long since become an American tradition.

However, before you fire up the grill, our team at Cardiac Monitoring Service has some tips for you to ensure that every course of your barbeque fare is not only delicious, but heart-healthy.

Main Courses: Portion control with meat is especially important, so be wary of overeating!

Rack it up: As your food cooks on a grill rack the fat will drip away, enabling you to enjoy the leanest possible meal.

Go for Grilled Fish: Fish is rich in the heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids that also support healthy brain function. Try out salmon, trout, or herring at your next gathering for a delicious alternative to red meat or poultry.

Avoid dark meat: When it comes to poultry, purchase skinless chicken breasts rather than the fattier dark meat of legs and thighs. Ground turkey also makes a great low-fat patty that offers a similar texture to traditional beef patties.

Eat this, not that: Choose “round” and “loin” cuts of red meat or pork. Also, purchase “choice” or “select” grades of beef instead of “prime” to ensure your meat has the least amount of fat possible. Trim any remaining fat during your cooking prep at home.

Veggie Options: It’s a good idea to keep on hand some veggie or tofu patties for vegetarians in your group. Even dedicated carnivores may be surprised at how good they taste!

Side Choices: Did you know that only animal products contain cholesterol? Load up your plate with some of these healthy side choices!

Eat the Rainbow: Instead of heavy potato salad loaded with mayo, serve your guests leafy green salads or colorful fruit salads. Add some crunch with toasted walnuts or almonds instead of croutons, and top with any of the bountiful produce options available at your local farmers market or grocery store.

Avoid processed foods: Potato chips and bagged snacks can be high in saturated and trans fats, hidden sugar, and artificial ingredients. Treat your body better with oven-baked fries or veggie kabobs!

Fill up on Fiber: Beans, peas, and lentils are excellent sources of protein, vitamins, and fiber. Try this chilled 3 bean salad or put out hummus and crunchy veggies for a crowd-pleasing healthy side option.

Nature’s Dessert: Fruits are a low calorie sweet treat for your party guests that are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Try grilling slices of fruits like nectarines, peaches, or pineapple; the natural sugars caramelize with heat and give incredible flavor.

Extras:

Whole Grains: Switch to whole-grain, high fiber breads and rolls. Besides being healthy choices, they add more flavor and texture to your meal.

Dairy: Choose low-fat or fat-free cheeses and spreads for your sandwiches and hamburgers. One slice is plenty!

Marinades and Dressings: Use low fat salad dressings or whip up your own! Citrus fruits like lemon, limes, and oranges with fresh herbs also make fantastic marinades.

Drink it down: Water, low calorie lemonade, and iced tea are all great heart healthy alternatives to sugary sodas. Sneak in some fresh lemon, mint, cucumber, or strawberries for beautiful color and flavor!

Eating for heart health is much simpler than one may think; it just takes a bit of pre-planning! As a leading provider of holter monitors and cardiac monitoring equipment, Cardiac Monitoring Service cares about your patients’ heart health! Contact us today for a free consultation!

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