BARBECUES and Father's Day go hand-in-hand.
But low-fat cookbook queen Annette Sym warns families could be serving dad a heart attack on a plate.
With heart disease and diabetes a growing concern for Australian men, the leading weight-loss expert said dads could easily consume 140g of fat during one family barbecue.
"Just one sausage has 15g of fat and once you add some fried onions, creamy potato salad and coleslaw, it's shocking how quickly the fat count can rise," Annette said.
"The good news is, it's easy to give your traditional barbecue a healthy make-over by following a few simple low-fat cooking tips."
Annette's top seven healthy barbecue tips for Father's Day:
Swap sausages for lean meat - just one sausage can contain 15g of fat, so it's much healthier to choose lean cuts of meat. Trim any visible fat off your steak and also remove skin from chicken.
Go easy on the oil - if you keep your barbecue well-greased, there is no need to pour lots of oil on to the plate. If you must add a little oil, brush it on lightly.
Make low-fat fried onions - to reduce the fat, use a little cooking spray on the barbecue plate instead of oil, being careful not to use the spray near an open flame.
Also, cook your onions first, so the fat from the meat doesn't soak into them. You can keep them warm in the oven while you're cooking everything else.
Don't fill up on chips and dips - when families get together for a barbecue, it's very easy to go overboard on the nibblies. Low-fat dips with vegetable crudites are a good alternative to cheese and crackers, peanuts and chips.
Throw some fruit and veggies on the barbie - sliced pineapple or banana tastes great when barbecued and adds a little variety. You can also grill veggies such as whole mushrooms, sliced zucchini, eggplant, asparagus and sweet potato.
Don't forget seafood - fish and prawns are a healthy alternative to red meat and are super tasty when marinated in a little garlic and lemon juice. Be careful not to overcook seafood as it only takes a few minutes to cook on the barbecue.
Use no-fat dressings and mayonnaise in salads - potato salad and coleslaw are barbecue favourites, but salads can be a big trap if they are smothered in oily dressing or creamy mayonnaise.
Always choose the low-fat or no-fat alternatives.
The fat counts of some favourite barbecue foods are:
- Sausages - 15g
- Piece of steak with fat on - 15g
- 100g fried onions - 12g
- 3/4 cup potato salad - 17g
- 3/4 cup coleslaw - 10g
- buttered bread roll (1 tbsp butter) - 17g
- handful of peanuts - 16g
- handful of salt and vinegar chips - 9g
- 4 crackers with cheese - 15g
- 4 pieces of kabana - 10g
Visit symplytoogood.com.au for more low-fat tips.
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