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Dietitian Offers Healthy Tips for Your Next Cookout

With July being National Grilling Month, a registered dietitian has some tips to make your next cookout a little healthier.

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CLEVELAND - Summer is the perfect time to break out the grill and have a cookout with friends and family.

And with July being National Grilling Month, there are some tips to keep in mind to make your next cookout a little healthier.

“Instead of burgers, hot dogs or sausages – you can prepare a healthier alternative like a salmon or chicken burger instead,” said Alexis Supan, registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic. “You can also prepare chicken in a low-sodium marinade and put it on a skewer with a bunch of vegetables. Doing skewers with shrimp would be another great option.”

When grilling, Supan stressed it’s best to avoid charring any food you make as that can potentially expose you to carcinogens.

Along with preparing a lean protein for your main dish, a salad is always a good go-to side, and a veggie tray can be a healthy alternative to chips.

When it’s time to eat, Supan said a good rule of thumb is to fill up half your plate with fruits and veggies.

If you aren’t sure fresh produce will be available, you can always be the person to bring it to your next cookout.

Supan added it’s never a good idea to skip meals before a get-together where there'll be a lot of food.

“Never go to a cookout hungry. A lot of people tend to not eat if they know they're going to eat a lot later. But it's usually better for us to eat ahead of time so we're not starving and overeat immediately,” Supan said.

When your cookout is over, Supan said it’s best avoid using a wire brush to clean your grill.

That’s because wire bristles can break off and possibly end up in your food the next time you grill.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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