Telephone interview with moveguard Dipl. Oecotrophologist Anna on “A healthy barbecue”
It’s summer – barbecue time! But how is it possible to enjoy the barbecue without consuming too many calories?
moveguard:Usually, steaks and sausages are the most favorite foods for the barbecue. They are certainly very tasty, but are there healthier alternatives?
Anna:In general, steaks and sausages are not as bad as is often stated. It is important to choose meat of high quality and with little fat, e.g. chicken turkey and chicken meat. Grilled vegetables are excellent side-dishes. Just place them directly on the barbecue (without aluminum foil). You can grill whatever you prefer: peppers, mushrooms, zucchinis, eggplants, etc. By grilling them they get a special taste. I wouldn’t recommend to grill tomatoes as they often burst. If you want to grill root vegetables you should chop them into small pieces, otherwise you need to wait very long until they are ready to eat. So get creative – e.g. mushrooms filled with feta cheese are very tasty!
moveguard:How large should the portion of meat be?
Anna:Oh, that’s a tough question! But as benchmark you can use your palm. The size of the meat should be the same as your palm. So, the smaller your palm is, the smaller the portion of meat should be.
moveguard:Potatoes, grilled corncobs and pasta salad are popular side-dishes!
Anna:That’s right! But potatoes and corncobs are rich in carbohydrates. If you want to keep an eye on your energy balance, you have to take the amount of fat into account as well as the amount of carbohydrates. Usually, it’s not the grilled meat that makes you put on weight – it’s the side-dish! The white bread, the pasta salad, the potato salad (no matter whether it’s with or without mayonnaise). And keep in mind that grain types low in gluten or without gluten (e.g. quinoa) also contain carbohydrates. For this reason, it is important to have a look at the nutritional values – in particular at the carbohydrates (sugar) – on the wrapping of salad dressings and ready meals.
moveguard:In the supermarket there’s a wide selection of barbecue sauces which make our barbecue even more tasty.
Anna:There’s no need to buy barbecue sauces if you buy good meat at the butcher’s. It has its own flavor and if you season it with pepper and salt it’s just perfect. That’s it. If you still can’t to do without a barbecue sauce, it’s ok as long as you know what the ingredients are. Very often barbecue sauces contain many unnecessary food additives. So, if you want to save some calories, just have a look at the list of ingredients. Barbecue sauces consist mainly of sugar, e.g. two tablespoons of tomato ketchup contain 2-3 sugar cubes (about 30 gr.)
moveguard:Are there any other possibilities?
Anna:You can get fresh herbs in many supermarkets. Season the meat with rosemary, peppermint, chives, garlic or onions. With those herbs you can also prepare herb cheese. The advantage is: you know what the ingredients are and in this way you won’t experience any nasty (calorie) surprises. If you can’t do without the taste of tomatoes, you can prepare a tomato dip with ripe tomatoes. Peel tomatoes, cut them in smaller pieces and add a lot of herbs.
moveguard:Usually beer is the most popular drink…
Anna:Grilled meat with beer is a classic. In smaller portions it’ ok, too much beer has negative effects on the fat burning. Beer contains alcohol which slows downs the fat burning. So, if you want to lose weight, you should avoid any type of alcohol. If you still want to enjoy the taste of beer when barbecuing, you can drink alcohol-free beer. And here too: you need to find the right balance. One or two bottles of alcohol-free beer are ok, but not five!
Guacamole – a tasty dip for the next barbecue
If you are looking for an alternative to barbecue sauces that are rich in calories, you should try out “Guacamole”. It contains essential fatty acids and only very little sugar. This Mexican specialty is very easy to prepare.
- 2 very ripe avocadoes
- 2 small limes
- 1 small red onion
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves
- Salt, pepper and chili
The recipe can be varied by adding chilies for a hotter guacamole or by adding yoghurt for a creamier variation:
- 2 tomates
- 1 chili pepper or jalapeno
- Parsley or coriander
- 2 tablespoons yoghurt
- Peel the onion and the garlic cloves and chop them into very small pieces. If you want you can chop and add a jalapeno or chili pepper
- Slice the avocados into two halves, remove the stone and add the fruit flesh to the onions and the garlic
- Mash the fruit flesh together with the garlic and the onions until it’s a creamy mixture
- Add lime juice
- Season with salt and pepper