Hidden calories in a cookout

How many calories are packed into your backyard barbeque? More than you probably realize, but as obesity numbers skyrocket, more Americans are searching for satisfying substitutes.

Experts like Memorial Hospital Dietitian, Sophie Lauer, say switch out fat-filled condiments for lighter options.

"If you're making a creamy pasta salad, or a potato salad some different healthy alternatives, instead of using mayo, use light mayo or greek yogurt," said Lauer.

"Usually anything that's very creamy is going to be high in fat because of the mayonnaise," said Lauer. "So, trying, again, to choose a potato salad mixed with olive oil is going to be a healthier alternative [too]."

Another way to cut calories might be in your glass. Soda and juices are filled with sugar and extra calories. A 20 oz. bottle of soda can pack more than 60 grams of sugar and 240 calories. An 8 oz. glass of juice is filled with 14 grams of sugar and 60 calories.

Lauer says if you don't want to ditch the drink, try, "mixing half of it with water, and always [choose] 100% juice."

Water infused with fruit, fresh squeezed lemonade and unsweetened iced tea are other drink-alternatives.

When it comes to your entree, health experts say go lean. A half pound hamburger with a side of potato salad can be upwards of 500 calories and 40 grams of fat.

"Baked chicken or barbeque chicken is going to be one of the better choices," said Lauer, "along with other lean protein like fish or pork."

As for dessert, the good news, experts say you don't have to skip it. Moderation is key.

"Nothing is off limits," said Lauer. Just "make sure the next day you go for a walk or that night you go for a walk or bike ride with your family."

For healthy recipes and subsitites, click here for ideas from Martin's Super Markets.


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