By Michelle Ten
Keep the oven off as long as you can until cooler weather sets in! The end of summer is fast approaching but you still have time to maximize the use of your outdoor grill to keep the heat out of the house. When considering menu, don’t forget healthy options; you can grill most veggies.
An average T-bone steak contains 770 kcals and 243mg of sodium. A hot dog on a bun contains 213 kcals and 741mg of sodium. And a hamburger on a bun, with condiments contains 558 calories and 845mg of sodium.
So, what is your daily recommended amount for these nutrients?? The average female (moderately active) requires about 2000-2200 calories/day and the average male (moderately active) 2400-2600 calories/day. Sodium intake shouldn’t exceed 2300mg/day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
FACT: Consuming a high calorie, high sodium diet can negatively impact your health. It increases your chance of high blood pressure, weight gain, and may lead to various diseases such as coronary artery disease. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of premature death in the United States, and it is largely preventable!
Check out these healthy grilling suggestions:
- Use lean cuts of meats/poultry and pork. Or try going vegetarian or vegan! Grilled Portobello mushrooms are easy to make. Add natural herbs and spices for flavor and use olive oil based marinates.
- Add colorful vegetables to your kebab! Try corn, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, artichokes, asparagus, and carrots.
- Fruit can add a sweet flavor to your food. Try pineapple slices, peach wedges, apricots, apples and even watermelon cubes. If not on the grill, enjoy them for dessert.
FACT: Most fruits and vegetables are low in sodium and calories. Vegetables contain many nutrients including potassium, fiber, vitamin A, magnesium and folate which help an individual reduce the risk of chronic disease. Fruits are packed with many vitamins including vitamin C and A, fiber and potassium which help strengthen your immunity and as well reduce the risk of developing chronic disease.
FUN FACT: Rub a half cut raw potatoes with a fork (stab on the uncut side) onto a preheat grill. The starch will act as a barrier between the food and the grill, making it non-stick.
Here are some recipes for more ideas. Don’t forget to “eat the rainbow”