Weekly Column_120 / August 16, 2012

Sins of the Barbecue Pit

By Charles Platkin, PhD

Sure, we all know that everyone eats a lot at a barbecue, but how much we eat is astonishing. Did you know that the average barbecue meal contains well over 3,500 calories? That’s 1,500 calories more than the recommended intake for a full day’s worth of meals!

Fortunately, the news is not all bad. You can keep eating, enjoying, and still have flavor — all you have to do is a bit of substituting. I was able to cut more than 1500 calories from the “typical” barbecue meal — not to mention all the fat and carbs! These substitutions are guaranteed to satisfy even the most ravenous of barbecue lovers. I should know — I am one.

Here are a few ways to avoid a diet disaster this barbecue season:

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING
5 medium spareribs: 650 calories, 47g fat, 9g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
5 medium spareribs, visible fat trimmed: 352 calories, 19g fat, 7g carbs

EVEN BETTER
5 medium pork tenderloin skewers: 340 calories, 10g fat, 0g carbs

SAVINGS
310 calories, 37g fat, 9g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING
5 oz. hamburger with bun: 547 calories, 39g fat, 21g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
5 oz. skinless grilled chicken breast without bun: 229 calories, 5g fat, 0g carbs

EVEN BETTER
2 (about 2.5 oz. each) Morningstar Farms Better ‘n Burgers without buns: 200 calories, 4g fat, 12g carbs

SAVINGS:
347 calories, 35g fat, 9g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING:
1 Oscar Mayer XXL Deli Style Beef Frank with bun: 363 calories, 24g fat, 23g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
1 Healthy Choice Beef Frank with bun: 193 calories, 4.5g fat, and 29g carbs

EVEN BETTER
1 Ball Park Fat Free Smoked White Turkey Frank without bun: 40 calories, 0g fat, 5g carbs

SAVINGS
323 calories, 24g fat, 18g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING
1 cup traditional potato salad: 325 calories, 17g fat, 39g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
1 cup low-fat potato salad (made with low-fat mayo and mustard): 135 calories, 1g fat, 28.5g carbs

EVEN BETTER
1 medium baked potato: 100 calories, 0g fat, 25g carbs

SAVINGS
225 calories, 17g fat, 14g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING
1 cup traditional macaroni salad: 269 calories, 9g fat, 43g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
1 cup vegetable pasta salad (with light vinaigrette): 206 calories, 2g fat, 42g carbs

EVEN BETTER
1 cup cucumber and tomato salad (made with vinegar, no oil): 48 calories, 0g fat, 12g carbs

SAVINGS
221 calories, 9g fat, 31g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING
2 oz. potato chips: 300 calories, 20g fat, 30g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
2 oz. baked potato chips: 220 calories, 3g fat, 46g carbs

EVEN BETTER
1 sweet potato to make grilled sweet potato chips: 100 calories, 0g fat, 26g carbs
(To prepare: Thinly slice potatoes widthwise. Lightly spray with fat-free cooking spray. Place on grill. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until desired crispness. It’s a good idea to microwave the potato beforehand to jumpstart the cooking.)

SAVINGS:
200 calories, 20g fat, 4g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING
1 large bell pepper, roasted (marinated in oil): 83 calories, 5g fat, 10.5g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
1 large bell pepper, roasted (no added oil): 44 calories, 0g fat, 10.5g carbs

SAVINGS
39 calories, 5g fat, 0g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING
1/4 cup Kraft French Onion Dip (for chips or veggies): 120 calories, 9g fat, 6g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
1/4 cup Tribe of Two Sheiks Classic Hummus: 100 calories, 6g fat, 8g carbs

EVEN BETTER
1/4 cup Tostitos Salsa: 28 calories, 0g fat, 6g carbs

SAVINGS
92 calories, 9g fat, 0g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN EATING
1 slice blueberry pie: 360 calories, 17g fat, 49g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
1 piece blueberry cobbler: 230 calories, 3.5g fat, 50g carbs

EVEN BETTER
1 cup fresh blueberries topped with 2 tablespoons whipped topping: 104 calories, 2g fat, 20g carbs

SAVINGS
256 calories, 15g fat, 29g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DRINKING:
16 oz. Snapple Lemon Iced Tea: 200 calories, 0g fat, 50g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY:
16 oz. homemade unsweetened iced tea with fresh lemon and mint: 2 calories, 0g fat, 0.5g carbs

SAVINGS
198 calories, 0g fat, 49.5g carbs

 

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DRINKING:
12 oz. pina colada: 626 calories, 7g fat, 82g carbs

INSTEAD, TRY
12 oz. Michelob: 156 calories, 0g fat, 13g carbs

EVEN BETTER
12 oz. Michelob Ultra: 95 calories, 0g fat, 3g carbs

SAVINGS
531 calories, 7g fat, 79g carbs

GRAND TOTAL: You saved 2742 calories, 178g fat, and 242.5g carbs. Just to put things into perspective, it would take 13 hours of walking to burn that many calories.






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By Charles Platkin, PhD





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