Walking past a barbecue restaurant is sure to leave you with the unforgettable smell of smoked meat, freshly prepared breads and tangy sauces. The problem with barbecue is that it’s typically high in fat and calories. Side dishes like creamed corn, mac ‘n cheese and onion rings can be between 500-900 grams of fat a serving!
If you’re watching your weight or sticking to a healthy diet, rest assured that you can indulge at your favorite barbecue restaurant without ruining your day’s calories. All it takes is a bit of knowledge, willpower and the willingness to make smart choices.
Let’s check out three simple ways that you can eat healthy at your favorite BBQ restaurant.
1. Choose a Lean Protein, Preferably Chicken
Barbecue restaurants usually serve a variety of meats like baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, spareribs and grilled chicken. Your best option is to stick with grilled chicken. It may not look as appealing as the brisket, but chicken is delicious when done right.
Not all chicken is created equal, however. A grilled chicken breast is your best option, but half chickens are also popular at barbecue joints. Unfortunately, the skin and dark meat make this a less healthy choice. At the very least, remove the skin from a half chicken.
2. Watch Your Sides – Fresh and Plain are Best
If you thought choosing a protein was difficult, just wait until you have to pick from the mouth-watering sides! As tasty as buttery mashed potatoes and cheesy hashbrowns are, they’re loaded with far more saturated fats and calories than people realize. These small side dishes can put you over your daily calorie intake.
The best approach is to choose lighter sides. Look for those that don’t contain a lot of butter, cheese or mayonnaise, such as fresh salads, seasonal vegetables or vinegar-based coleslaw. The plainer the better. You can always add your own butter and salt if need be. Because sides are usually sold a la carte, you can also split these with a group so you only take a few bites.
3. Go Easy on the Sauces
One of the best parts about eating at a barbecue restaurant is the sauces. Each restaurant has their own speciality sauces – and it’s worth trying each one! However, restaurant-style sauces pack a lot of sodium and fat. This is why we recommend avoiding sauces that are made with mayonnaise, brown sugar, butter or molasses.
The easiest way to pick a healthy sauce is by choosing a mustard- or vinegar-based recipe. White sauces are usually highest in fat and calories, while mustard and red sauces fall somewhere in between. Even if you choose a lighter sauce, limit the amount you use.
You Won’t Feel Guilty When You Eat at La Rosa Chicken and Grill!
Eating at your favorite barbecue restaurant doesn’t have to be unhealthy! When you visit La Rosa Chicken and Grill, you can enjoy expertly crafted foods made from the highest quality ingredients. We rely on the natural flavors from our foods rather than covering them in cheese, salt and butter. Stop into our barbecue restaurants any day of the week for barbecue chicken and a full assortment of healthy sides.