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How to make healthy, flavorful choices at summer barbecues

By Brooke Walker | Posted - Jul 2nd, 2013 @ 7:47pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's hot summers bring people outdoors for backyard parties and barbecues, but summer festivities aren't always waistline friendly.

With one goal in mind — to help people enjoy summer barbecues — Diane Sheya has a few tips for keeping a healthy lifestyle during the summer holidays.

Sheya, the culinary director at the Viking Cooking School, said cutting back on fat and calories can be easy with the right information.

"Let's talk about the meat in our burgers," she said. "Look for that 90 percent meat that has less fat in it You'll see that right on the meat counter."

Sheya recommends Bison meat for its low fat and flavorful qualities. Though it may be more expensive, she said it's worth it.

"You want that good flavor because you miss the flavor if you don't have the fat," she said. "The flavor goes away."

When asked if a hot dog is a good choice for health-conscious barbeque goers, Sheya said the addiditves don't make it the best choice. Instead, she recommends looking at other varieties of sausages at the meat counter.

When it comes to chicken, Sheya said there are a variety of healthy options to prepare and flavor it.

"Marinating is a good option, but what I like to do is get the chicken breasts that have the bone in (and) skin on," she said. "Bones carry flavor to that meat, Also the skin helps retain that moisture."

Condiments and side dishes can quickly add up, but Sheya said there are substitutes that taste just as good.

"Think about the low fat mayonnaise, or even think of things like yogurt that have no calories but lots of flavor and tang," she said.

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