Is BBQ Food the Healthy Lockdown Option?

Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has had a big impact on the traditional barbecue season, with social gatherings limited.  Most of us know this is for the best and will protect us in the long run, but there’s always going to be a slightly forlorn feeling as we gaze out to the sunshine and think about all those barbecues with family and friends that we’ve enjoyed in summers gone by.

If you do have a barbeque though, you can certainly enjoy it with members of your household. No inviting the neighbours over, but you can bask in the sunshine of your back garden with your housemates or household family. Not only that, you can make it healthy to boot!

The health benefits

Veggies from the barbie are better!

You’ll want some fresh veg to go with your meat, and luckily, grilling veggies on the barbeque is not only healthy, but delicious! It helps to lower your fat intake as you don’t need much oil to cook vegetables. Plus, the slow-cook method of barbequing helps to lock in vitamins and minerals in those juicy veggies.

Locked-in nutrients

People love the taste of a good barbequed meal. It’s great to know then that not only is barbequed food tasty, but it’s also packed with vitamins thanks to the method of cooking preserving those all-important nutrients!

Carcinogen-free food

Worried about the coals in your barbeque? Some doctors have suggested people switch to bottled gas for their barbeques instead, as it could be healthier.

This is because charcoal is a type of carcinogen, as the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines wreak havoc on the health factor of food cooked on an open flame. These cancer-causing chemicals have become a cause for concern for many, so switching to gas is the easy fix.

Plus, unlike coals, bottled gas is much easier to control, and in turn, the temperature is easier to control – whilst gas bottle prices are also competitive.  Lighting the outside burners rather than the centre one and popping your food in the middle of the grill with the lid closed is an excellent way to keep that temperature manageable.

Lower your fat consumption by grilling

Grilling and barbequing meat can help to lessen the amount of fat you consume. The excess fat drips away through the grates when you grill or barbeque food, whereas pan-frying keeps the fats sloshing about to be absorbed back into the meat. The NHS even advises grilling meat to lower your fat intake, as well as trimming off visible fats before cooking.

It’s also worth remembering that fat is not the enemy! Avocado is a healthy fat that can spruce up a salad — a perfect side dish for your barbeque.

Quality over quantity

So long as you’re not overcooking things on the barbeque, your food will be flavourful and moisture-locked. As a result, you will be less likely to add condiments (and therefore, extra fats) to your food. This helps to keep an eye on those calories, as well as knocking down your sugar intake.

Grilling outdoors can be fun and healthy but be sure to observe lockdown measures. Don’t invite people outside of your household and check your local council website for guidance before you fire up the barbeque this summer.