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With a few more BBQs left in the summer season, we at Horizon Family Medical Group encourage you to choose healthy options. You have a variety of ways to still plan and serve delicious backyard fare, while focusing on flavorful, low-fat options. Here are a few suggestions:


Go for a veggie burger, or a turkey burger. A turkey burger, for example, has 100 fewer calories and 5.5 fewer grams of saturated fat than a traditional ground beef burger. [1] If only a ground beef burger will do, choose a lean meat with less fat.


If you’re grilling chicken, remove the skin. A grilled chicken sandwich can be a great substitute for burgers.

Fish is also great on the grill, and often a significantly more healthy option. Fish is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which has been linked to heart health. [2]


Don’t limit your vegetables to a token salad at the party. Try slicing up zucchini and throwing it on the grill with a little kosher salt and pepper. And instead of serving chips, try a veggie platter. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and celery sticks make for a great snack as guests are chatting.


You can also throw some fruit on the grill. Try pineapple, oranges, or peaches. The natural sugars found in many fruits start to caramelize with heat, making flavors really pop. And throwing a grilled pineapple on top of a savory turkey burger gives your BBQ a tropical flare.


Fitness Magazine has a great article with several healthy recipes for your next summer BBQ. We’ve included a favorite below, but here’s a link to all 8 recipes: Fire Up the Grill: 8 Healthy Grilling Recipes. [3]

California Turkey Burgers

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
  • 2 firm, ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 just-ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced


  1. In a small skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the scallions until just softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, season with the salt and black pepper and let cool. Stir in the sour cream and Worcestershire sauce; add the turkey and mix gently until just combined. Form into 6 patties.
  2. Heat a grill to medium-high. Mist grill with cooking spray and cook burgers 5 minutes. Turn and grill until almost cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Top each burger with some of the blue cheese; cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until burgers are just cooked through and cheese is melted.
  3. Arrange burgers on buns and top with sliced tomato, avocado, and red onion.

Nutrition facts per serving: 370 calories, 35g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 13g fat (4g saturated), 5g fiber


  1. U.S. News & World Report – http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/06/29/ready-set-grill-15-healthy-bbq-ideas-from-nutrition-pros
  2. Heart.org – http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Heart-Healthy-Grilling-and-Barbecue-Tips_UCM_303146_Article.jsp#.V7ihFJgrKUk
  3. Fitness Magazine – Fire Up the Grill: 8 Healthy Grilling Recipes – http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/dinner/healthy-grilling-recipes/