Enjoy A Guilt Free Heart Healthy BBQ Season

Cardiac Catheterization in Beverly Hills

It’s officially summer time!  Welcome sunshine, beach days, longer days, and…..BBQ’s.  Everyone loves a good bbq, surrounded by friends and family but also DELICIOUS FOOD.  Most of which traditionally tends to not be heart healthy.  But before you cancel all your plans, just know that there are heart healthy alternatives that are good for you without sacrificing taste!  Don’t believe me??  Keep reading!!

Let’s start with the most obvious ingredient at every good barbecue: the meats.  Here is a chart representing your different possible meat options and how they compare regarding fat content, cholesterol, and iron.


As you can see in this chart, your safest bet is with white meat options.

Fish- Fish options such as salmon, tilapia or tuna are a heart healthy alternative to red meat because they contain omega-3 fatty acids.  To read more click here.

Chicken/turkey- Chicken and poultry are also better options than red meats and are always a crowd favorite.  Swap burgers for bbq chicken and bacon for turkey bacon.

Although, you can skip meat all together and opt for Veggie Burgers.

Here’s a breakdown of the best store bought veggie burger options with calorie and fat count

What Else Should You Avoid??


The simple sugars that occur in soda can dangerously raise your blood sugar levels which can escalate your chances for cardiovascular disease

Instead create beautiful, refreshing, healthy drinks that not only hydrate but look like works of art!

Strawberry Lime Cucumber Infused Water

Raspberry Peach Lemonade

Also, drinking plenty of water will help keep you full without being tempted to over eat.

Speaking of simple sugars you should also avoid….

Baked Desserts

The massive amounts of sugar in desserts such as pies, cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. Can lead to hypertension, clogged arteries and even heart failure!

Pick instead fresh fruit!  Think that sounds boring?  Here’s a few recipes that guarantee to wow your guests AND your taste buds!

Strawberry Lime Cucumber Infused Water

Raspberry Peach Lemonade

Fruit Infused Freezer Pops

Watermelon Pizza

Refined Carbs

Skip the bun!  Try instead lettuce wraps, or whole wheat buns.

Here are 10 ways to spice up your burger without a bun!

Avoid Butter

Now this one seems pretty obvious…..except we all know that doesn’t change the fact that BUTTER IS DELICIOUS.  But unfortunately butter and margarine contain trans fats which are definitely not heart healthy.  Luckily for you, we have 3 healthy butter spread alternatives as well as 6 healthy options for cooking with.


Not Your Mama’s BBQ – Let’s Try Something New!

Although traditionally we see burgers and hotdogs as a classic bbq staple, heavily processed meats contain additives that can contribute to heart disease.  But fear not!  There are many other healthy options you should consider throwing on the grill this year!

Kebabs- Meat kebobs are a good alternative to a big steak or fat burger because you can still get the satisfaction of having a meat option but it will limit your intake as it is a few pieces in between veggies.

Consider doing a build your own kebab bar!  Let your guest interact and create their own kebabs.  Here’s a few options for your kebabs:

  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus Spears
  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato
  • Pineapple
  • Tofu
  • Fish

The options are endless!!

Grilled Pineapple

Corn on the cob- Instead of the usual slather of butter and salt, instead consider trying something new.  Elote is a fun choice!  Just swap butter and mayo for light mayo and low fat plain greek yogurt.  Recipe here.

Grilled mushrooms- You can either grill them as a side or grill big portabella mushrooms on whole wheat buns as an alternative to burgers!  To learn how to grill them up perfectly click here.

Stuffed peppers- The fun thing about stuffed peppers is you can stuff them with all kinds of things!  Try them with rice, beans, veggies and ground turkey!

Zucchini- Not only are there many ways to prepare zucchini but it has many health benefits such as low calories and high in fiber.  You can learn more about the health benefits of eating zucchini in this article.  

In Conclusion

Eating healthy doesn’t always have to mean missing out on enjoying scrumptious barbecue foods!  There are options at your disposable that are responsible as well as appetizing.  The Beverly Hills Cardiology office would like to wish you a happy summer and a healthy heart!  Give us a call at (310) 858-6500 to schedule an appointment today!

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