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To make the most out of your grilling time, and get a hot, healthy meal on the table in minutes, follow these tips to grill without guilt.

There are few things that say Iowa summer like a hot grill of sizzlin’ summertime eats. We all know the basics of a healthy barbecue: choose lean meats, avoid mayo-based sides, and yes, liquid calories do count.  To make the most out of your grilling time, and get a hot, healthy meal on the table in minutes, follow the tips below to grill without guilt.

1.  Watch your portion sizes.

Once you’ve picked the perfect protein, make sure you watching the portion size. When choosing fresh meat, fish or poultry, aim for a 3 ounce (cooked) serving size. To make it simple, just remember that one pound of raw meat, fish or poultry should feed four people. Not only does this help save calories, it’s a great money saver!

2. Always take the temperature.

Food thermometers have come a long way – many will give you the recommended cooking temperatures right on the thermometer. While we recommend using a thermometer to make sure you’re cooking beef, pork, and poultry to the minimum internal temperature, it’s also a perfect way to grill the perfect steak or chop every time. Ground products should reach 160 F; poultry 165 F; medium rare beef and pork 145 F. 

3.  Think beyond the burger.

Some unexpected foods like peaches, asparagus, or pineapple can be tossed on the grill for a tasty, nutrient-rich side dish. Aside from being packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, grilling fruits and vegetables takes almost no time at all – all you need to do is add char marks.


Whitney Hemmer RD, LD

Whitney Hemmer RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Whitney graduated from Iowa State University with a BA in Dietetics & is a member of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as the Iowa Dietetic Association. With a focus on overall health, wellness and counseling, she is well equipped to help you with your individual nutritional needs.

Click here for more information on our dietitians.

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