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Eat This, Not That: Summer BBQ Edition

Eat This, Not That: Summer BBQ Edition

Written By: Samantha McCarthy, MS, RD/LDN

Summer can be disastrous for your health. It’s a constant stream of parties, vacations, and BBQ’s for many. This means lots of food and alcohol. It can be difficult to maintain your healthy eating and weight during the summer months, but it doesn’t have to be. Our traditional choices of food like burger, hot dogs, and potato salad can be turned into healthier options with a few modifications. Check out the chart below to see the difference in calories and saturated fat between our traditional BBQ choices and healthier versions.

Eat This...

Portion Size

Calories and Saturated Fat

Not That...

Portion Size

Calories and Saturated Fat

95% lean burger

4 oz. burger

153 kcals

2.4 grams

75% Beef Burger

4 oz. burger

328 kcals

11 grams

Description: 4 oz. patty using 95% lean ground beef

Description: 4 oz. patty using 75% lean ground beef

Avocado Potato Salad

1 cup

230 kcals

1.6 grams

Traditional Potato Salad

1 cup

357 kcals

3.6 grams

Description: potato salad made with avocado and yogurt instead of mayo

Description: traditional potato salad using mayonnaise dressing

Cucumber, Tomato, Feta Salad

1 cup

154 kcals

3 grams

Traditional Pasta Salad

1 cup

358 kcals

4 grams

Description: cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, avocado, and basil mixed with lemon juice and olive oil

Description: traditional macaroni/pasta salad using mayonnaise dressing

Frozen Yogurt Bark

2-3 pieces

76 kcals

0.75 grams

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup

275 kcals

9 grams

Description: nonfat, plain greek yogurt mixed with vanilla extract, honey, strawberries, and dark chocolate chips spread on a cookie sheet, frozen, then broken into pieces

Description: standard plain, vanilla ice cream

Broccoli Yogurt Slaw

˝ cup

92 kcals

0.67 grams

Traditional ColeSlaw

˝ cup

150 kcals

1.5 grams

Description: yogurt coleslaw dressing, broccoli slaw, almonds, and dried cranberries

Description: traditional coleslaw made with mayonnaise dressing

Chicken Sausage

3 oz. sausage

170 kcals

2 grams

Loaded Hot Dog

1 hot dog

487 kcals

5 grams

Description: chicken sausage grilled with peppers, onions, and 1 tsp. oil

Description: standard hot dog on a bun with 1 Tbsp. relish, 1 Tbsp. ketchup, 1 Tbsp. mustard

Veggies and Yogurt Dip

1 cup veggies

2 Tbs. dip

90 kcals

0 grams

Chips and Dip

10-11 chips

2 Tbs. dip

210 kcals

4.5 grams

Description: baby carrots for a vegetable. Dip is made with nonfat, plain greek yogurt and ranch dip seasoning mix

Description: potato chips with ranch dip

If you would like the detailed recipes for any of the healthier versions of our traditional BBQ foods, feel free to email me at

Next week, I will feature a “Drink This, Not That,” nutrition tip breaking down common summer beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

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