Barbecuing is a wonderful way be social and enjoy great food. Usually it tastes so good that you can’t help but to go back for seconds, thirds, and beyond.
Unfortunately, not all barbecue is good barbecue. If you’re looking to lose weight or lower your cholesterol, BBQ foods can be quite unhealthy that will sidetrack your progress.
Here are the top 5 worst foods to eat summer BBQ images.
A staple of every summer barbecue, bratwurst sausage is flavorful, juicy and unhealthy. A 4 ounce bratwurst packs a one-two punch of 300 calories and 25 grams of fat!
With one bratwurst you have just ingested 33% of the daily recommended intake of fat.
The FDA recommends that the average person limit calorie intake to 2,000 calories, but with that single bratwurst, you have eaten 15% of your calories for the day.
And this information assumes that you are just eating the bratwurst. Most of the time, you will eat a bratwurst with a bun and potentially reach for a plethora of condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayo, relish, chili, and the list could go on.
The bottom line is that bratwursts can threaten all the effort you have put into getting in shape. Bratwursts are one of the worst foods at a BBQ.
2. Hamburgers, Buns, and Toppings
Has there ever been a barbecue that did not include hamburgers? Probably not. But it might be a good idea if you are trying to take off those few extra body fat percentage points.
A 4 ounce hamburger has 280 calories and 22 grams of fat. When was the last time you saw a person eat a hamburger without a bun?
Maybe you did when you were two years old, but hamburger buns are as important as the meat itself. And of course, melted cheese is critical to some.
A lot of people will butter up the bun and toast it to golden-brown perfection.
Consider this: A typical buttered bun has 160 calories and 6.5 grams of fat. A slice of Swiss cheese has 150 calories and 13 grams of fat. Ignoring all the other condiments that can be piled on, a complete hamburger with a bun and melted cheese totals up to 590 calories and 41.5 grams of fat. Those are gut-busting numbers.
Have you ever stopped to think what a gram of fat looks like? One gram of fat is roughly equivalent to a 1/4 teaspoon of lard.
So with 41.5 grams of fat, the hamburger and all the fixings just put approximately 10 teaspoons of lard into your body. With that in mind, it’s probably not hard to conclude that hamburgers are best left alone.
SEE ALSO: Best Frozen Burgers
3. Potato Salad
Yes, your favorite summer side dish made by grandma is on the list. Potato salads vary from family recipe to family recipe, so we will look at the nutritional values from a generic recipe offered by a well-known mayonnaise manufacturer.
Hellman’s recipe creates a potato salad at an 8 oz serving size, loads you up with 300 calories and 21 grams of fat. Did your jaw drop? This “nutritional” data becomes even more amazing because potato salad is just a side dish.
Your hamburger or bratwurst combined with a small portion of potato salad is basically like dropping a nuclear warhead on your health goals. If you have to eat it, make it once a year.
Turkey is a lean white poultry meat known as an excellent health food. Low in fat and high in protein, it is part of a balanced diet. This list isn’t just about the unhealthy foods to avoid at a barbecue, it is about food you should avoid at a barbecue.
Turkey is typically dry to begin with, which is why you will often encounter recommendations to “brine” the turkey to ensure a tender turkey.
Turkey is not a common barbecue food, but there are plenty of recipes and experimental barbecuers out there, so you may cross paths with barbecued turkey.
But why avoid barbecued turkey? Dry. Death Valley Dry. If you think thanksgiving turkey comes out dry, barbecued turkey is a surefire way to make turkey jerky.
SEE ALSO: Best Jerky Guns
Most turkeys will need to be halved or butterflied, as in the recipe above, to appropriately fit in a closed grill. When you cut through the skin and into the meat, you are providing a spigot for the juices to flow out of.
Most recipes recommend immersing the turkey in brine for over 24 hours. Even if you use a brine, you still have to get the other details right to avoid a dried-out turkey.
Is barbecued turkey always a complete failure waiting to happen? Not exactly. In the hands of an experienced and mature barbecue pit master, barbecued turkey can actually come out like you always dreamed. It is up to you whether you will ever take the risk of barbecuing turkey.
5. Mixed Drinks and Beer
Something is just not right about a barbecue that does not have alcoholic beverages for the adults to imbibe. The usual beverage of choice seems to be beer, but you will often see mixed drinks, particularly ones made with a sweet mixers and soda pop.
Consider this refreshing mixed drink: the margarita. A typical mammoth-sized 32 oz. margarita (are there any other kind?) packs a caloric wallop at 600 calories. Ok, 32 oz. is a bit extreme, typically a serving size is a 12 oz. margarita, but even then it would have 225 calories ((600/32) * 12 = 225).
And you know that just one margarita in a sitting is probably unrealistic, so you may want to avoid it all together.
Is beer just as bad as a mixed drink? It actually turns out that beer is a healthier alternative than a mixed drink.
A 12 oz Coors Light has 104 calories and 2.4 grams of carbohydrates. A Coors Light has half the calories of a single margarita. And the beer does not have to be a light beer, Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest Lager has 158 calories.
If you are looking to for the healthy option for a drink at a barbecue, try some spicy vegetable juice!
Healthy Option? All-Beef Hot Dogs!
It would be wrong somehow not to mention hot dogs when writing about BBQ.
Surprisingly, an all-beef hot dog is a good choice at a barbecue. A 2oz all-beef hot dog has 180 calories and 17 grams of fat. Add in a bun with 110 calories and 1.5 grams of fat and the hot-dog is still an attractive option compared to a hamburger or bratwurst, if you can limit your intake to one hot dog which might be difficult to do.
SEE ALSO: How To Microwave Hot Dogs And How To Boil Hot Dogs
Make sure you select all-beef hot dogs. Grocery stores usually carry a kosher hot dog brand that is all-beef. If you go with a hot dog that isn’t all-beef, avoid it like the plague as a 2 oz serving of generic hot dogs will double your calories.