Nothing says summertime like rolling out the grill and doing a little barbecuing. A word of caution, however. The typical backyard cookout can be a calorie-counter’s worst nightmare. Behind that slab of ribs and bucket of slaw lies more fat than you want to know about. Here’s a reality check for you:

Hamburger (bun) 279 calories 13.5 grams/fat
Bratwurst (no bun) 283 calories 24.8 grams/fat
Corn on the Cob (buttered) 115 calories 3.4 grams/fat
Potato Chips 150 calories 10 grams/fat
Potato Salad (1/2 cup) 217 calories 12 grams/fat
Chocolate Brownie 112 calories 7 grams/fat

Take the guilt out of grilling with these quick and simple changes.

  • Trade mayo-laden sides, such as potato salad, for a fresh veggie comboFat BBQ drizzled with vinegar and oil.
  • Flavor burgers with jalapenos, roasted garlic or caramelized onions, and leave off the cheese and condiments.
  • Make veggies part of the main course (think “Portobello burgers” or shish-ka-bob). Increasing the flavor factor with spices and herbs will take veggies from dull to dazzling.Swap ice cream or baked good desserts for fresh fruit or frozen yogurt.
  • Replace buns with lettuce wraps – great for burgers, hot dogs, BBQ pork or shredded chicken.

Chicago Tribune: “Calorie counts of your favorite barbecue foods”

Image courtesy of marin /