Can it be a healthy barbecue?

Summer barbecues are commonly associated with excessive consumption of sausages and meats rich in fat, alcohol, and sauces. Laura González, nutritionist and collaborator of “El Bisturí”, provides a series of recommendations and alternatives to make our barbecues healthier this summer, selecting leaner meats and including fish and vegetables among our grilled dishes

Barbecues are a very widespread practice with the arrival of summer. The heat, the good weather and the hours of sunshine make outdoor outings with friends and family proliferate while we enjoy varied dishes cooked on the grill.

“In a typical barbecue a lot of meat is consumed, especially red”, confirms the head of Nutrition at Nestlé, Laura González. Most of these meats and sausages (bacon, sausage, blood sausage, chorizo) contain a lot of fat, to which we must also add the consumption of sauces and alcohol (beer, wine or red de verano).

The recommendations indicate that this type of food and drink should be consumed as little as possible so that it does not become our usual routine. “We must remember that the food and beverages we take daily have an impact on our health,” says González in “El Bisturí.”


To make barbecues healthier, the nutritionist gives five tips:

Choose the main dish well. We must prioritize lean meats and fish over sausages and fatty meats.
Use seasonal vegetables. “Grilled vegetables are delicious, and better if they are from proximity”, Laura González emphasizes. In addition, in this way we provide fiber, vitamins and minerals, and we contribute to the recommended servings of vegetables.
Appetizers, entrees, and sauces should be light, and made primarily from vegetables. For example, a sauce can be cucumber and spiced yogurt.
Reduce the consumption of sugary drinks and dispense with alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and tinto de verano).
Desserts should be fruit-based. In this way we will be able to comply with the recommendations for fruit consumption.
The best meats
When it comes to selecting meats for the barbecue, “the low-fat parts of the pork and chicken are good options, although we can also select lean cuts of veal and beef,” reports the head of nutrition.

From the pork, Laura González selects the part of the loin and the rib. When it comes to cooking, “these parts usually take about ten minutes to be done on the barbecue on each side and must be done at a distance from the embers of approximately 10 centimeters,” she points out.

“Veal and ox (ribeye, entrecote, hamburgers, sirloin) are the star dishes”, underlines the specialist. However, it is red meat and it is important to select lean cuts. If they are minced meats, the nutritionist insists on reading the label to select those that contain more meat and less fat. As for the cooking time, it takes between 2 to 5 minutes on each side.

“The low-fat pork and chicken parts are good options, although we can also select lean cuts of veal and beef”

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