Labor Day on a restricted diet — you can barbecue

Labor Day is the unofficial end of the summer barbecue season, and usually means firing up the grill(s) for steaks, chicken, brats, Italian sausage, hot dogs and hamburgers.

When you’re on a restricted diet, however,all those traditional American treats may be off your menu. That doesn’t mean you have to sit inside and eat nothing. You can still grill by making some strategic switches I’ve written about here.

Grilling veggies.
Grilling veggies.

Grilled vegetables are fun, especially with some salt-free marinades to add flavor variety. For burgers, find the leanest ground beef possible; I make mine with 96% lean ground beef from a local supermarket here in the Chicago area. 

Low-fat hot dogs exist, but sodium content can be an issue with those. The same is true, by the way, for chicken hot dogs and chicken Italian sausage varieties. They’re loaded with sodium so what you save in fat you get penalized for by the sodium content. I recommend instead making your own turkey burgers with a mixture of lean and extra lean white meat turkey (I use the same combo for turkey meatloaf).

Don’t forget some cold salads, I enjoy tomato and cucumber salad (made without salt or sugar).

So enjoy your Labor Day, and fire up the grill!

John

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