Summer BBQs and Picnics: Tips to Spice it Up (cont.)
Sides and Sauces
Can't forgo your steak, burgers, and hotdogs? No problem. Serve sides and sauces with your traditional picnic and barbeque fare to prevent culture shock.
Many exotic dips and accompaniments are available in regular stores, from salsas, to curries, to rice and breads. Just make sure you choose products that are low in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Opt for more nutrient-rich items, such as whole-grain brown rice instead of white rice.
To ensure your selection is a healthy one, you can even make it yourself. Various health-conscious recipes of foreign fare can be accessed on the Internet and in local bookstores.
Appetizing substitutions can also often be made to boost nutrition and lower less-desired items.
Instead of using salt on a dish, for example, experiment with fresh herbs and spices, suggests Garth Graham, MD, MPH, deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Minority Health, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He recommends items such as cilantro, oregano, serrano peppers, minced garlic, and onions.
Additional ideas for sides and sauces include:
The Main Course
Some people cannot imagine a barbeque or picnic without the sizzle of steaks or burgers. That's fine as long as you veer toward the leaner options.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts (round eye, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts. The leanest pork options include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham.
To ensure you get the healthiest kind of ground beef, look for the label that says it is at least 90% lean.
Instead of frying or breading meats and seafood, try broiling, grilling, roasting, poaching, or boiling them.
Here are other ways of ensuring a healthy and exotic entree:
Desserts and Drinks
No need to disregard your sweet tooth. There are plenty of healthy options for desserts.
Exotic fruits are obvious selections. Try passion fruit, pomegranate, carambola (starfruit), cherimoya, or lychees.
You can eat fruits as is, baked, or in fruit salads, juices, smoothies, and sorbets.
Here are other suggestions for desserts and drinks:
Published June 27, 2006.
SOURCES: Lisa Dorfman, MSRD, national spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association (ADA); author, The Tropical Diet. Malena Perdomo, RD, spokeswoman, Latin Nutrition, ADA. Mary Murimi, RD, PhD, chair-elect, International Division of the Society for Nutrition Education. Garth Graham MD, MPH, deputy assistant secretary, Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Lalita Kaul, RD, PhD, spokeswoman, ADA; professor of nutrition, Howard University Medical School, Washington. WebMD Doctor's Views On: "The 'Melting Pot' Diet." Wikipedia.org: Jicama, Hummus, Tofu, Tortilla, Lassi. CDC web site: "5 A Day: Vegetable of the Month: Tubers" and "5 A Day: Vegetable of the Month: Exotic Vegetables." TheFruitPages.com: "Exotic Fruit - Tropical Fruit." USDA's MyPyramid.gov: "Inside the Pyramid: Meats & Beans." The New York Times, June 21, 2006: "The World's Cups."
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