A Diabetes-Friendly Backyard BBQ

Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes holidays and weekends that are perfect for barbecues.

While many party foods are high in fat, calories and sugar, it's easy to make your BBQ a diabetes-friendly occasion.

Try these simple swaps and suggestions for healthier eats that don't compromise on flavor or taste.

Focus on Veggies

You don't have to skip the steak or burgers, but you can reduce consumption of red meat by grilling up summer vegetables for your plate. Asparagus, squash, peppers and even tomatoes taste delicious when they're charred on the grill, either plain or with a little seasoning. You can grill them whole or make veggie kabobs.

For a healthier plate, you can also grill chicken and fish, which will save you both fat and calories. Either way, limit your meat consumption to a portion about the size of a deck of cards.

Skip the Mayo

Leave high-fat mayonnaise off your burgers and hot dogs and opt for mustard instead. You can also substitute spreadable dips like guacamole or hummus in place of mayo.

Watch Out for BBQ Sauce

Many BBQ sauces have excess sugar, so be wary of foods like baked beans or ribs. If you plan ahead, you can make your own low-carb BBQ sauce.

Scout Out Good Carbs

If you're craving carbohydrates, stay away from the bowl of chips and seek out sources of healthy, slow-digesting carbs, like foods with beans, peas or whole grains.

Hydrate Smart

Beer and regular soda, summer staples, are loaded with carbohydrates. If you're drinking alcoholic beverages, opt for clear spirits or wine.

Also, make sure to hydrate well. Sweet drinks like lemonade or a margarita – even just one – combined with the heat can easily throw your body chemistry off balance. Drink plenty of water and monitor your blood sugar regularly.

Have Fruit for Dessert

Save your carbohydrates for delicious summer fruits like watermelon or strawberries. Just make sure you don't go overboard and watch out for added syrups or sugars in things like fruit salad.

Source: HealthWorks Collective

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