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8 Unhealthiest Cookout Foods (Slideshow)

8 Unhealthiest Cookout Foods (Slideshow)


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You may not even know that many of the cookout foods that you enjoy can be swapped out for a healthier option

Check the label on your store-bought barbecue sauce. Many of them are super high in sugar and sodium. Keep the sauce to a minimum or try making your own to ensure healthy ingredients are used.

Sugary Barbecue Sauce

Check the label on your store-bought barbecue sauce. Keep the sauce to a minimum or try making your own to ensure healthy ingredients are used.

Mayonnaise-based Salads

Pasta, macaroni, and potato salads are full of heavy and thick mayonnaise-based dressings. Instead, use a nonfat Greek-style yogurt for the base. You can also use a light, citrus dressing with olive oil and fresh herbs.

Ranch Dressing

For dipping, avoid the sour cream and onion dip along with the ranch dressing. Try guacamole and salsa instead. For salad dressings, use a light vinaigrette and stick to the dark leafy greens for the healthiest salad options.

Fatty Steak Cuts

Choose lean cuts of steak without visible, marbled fat like London broil, skirt steak, top sirloin, or filet mignon. Trim the fat before you marinate and grill it to get the healthiest piece.

Breaded and Fried Chicken

Ditch the heavy breaded and fried chicken this summer and try a grilled, skinless chicken breast or thigh. Skip the heavy, buttery marinades and use a light olive-oil based one instead.

Hot Dogs

Skip the jumbo dogs and instead opt for light beef or turkey franks. Also, choose a whole wheat bun. Don’t glob on the chili and cheese, just keep it simple with mustard and relish. Skip the Polish sausage links and Bratwurst and choose a reduced-fat sausage link instead that is part poultry instead of pork.

Hamburgers

Hamburgers are a big part of summer cookouts, but they don’t have to be unhealthy. Use beef that is ground sirloin or lean — 94 to 91 percent fat-free. Or, instead of a beef burger, try a turkey burger or even a vegetable patty. You can also try cutting out the cheese and opting for fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles instead. Skip the mayonnaise and stick to the ketchup and mustard. Choose a whole wheat bun, or even a lettuce wrap.

Pies and Cakes

Skip the cakes smothered in frosting and the sugary pies. It’s best to stick to fresh berries, which are as sweet as candy since they’re in season in the summer months anyway. And of course, you can never go wrong with slices of fresh watermelon or cantaloupe.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.


36 Best and Worst Foods for Barbecues

Is there anything better than an outdoor BBQ and noshing on good food with your buddies during the summer months? We think not! But you probably know by now just how toxic some foods can be. Not sure what's good news for your gut and what should better be left on the shelf? That's what we're here for!

Stock up on our go-tos (and stay away from our Not That! picks) and you'll be prepared to throw a killer BBQ at a moment's notice. Better yet, you'll be able to maintain your flat abs without sacrificing the classic summer foods you love. Speaking of summer foods, don't miss our picks for the #1 summer food in every state.