Football and BBQ are culturally linked, especially in the south western states of the US.
However BBQ is rarely seen as healthy and many people cut it out of their diet entirely.
This is arguably more difficult in the South West though, an area which is famously known for throwing steak, pork and chicken on the BBQ.
Tom Brady returned to the Buccaneers in the off season, increasing the strength of the Tampa Bay side and tipping them for Super Bowl success, as the comparison experts over at OddsChecker demonstrate. Brady’s diet has always been strict, but later into his career, he is now relaxing it slightly. He told Men’s Health magazine, “I have a friend who freaks out if it’s not the most organic this or that, and I’m like, ‘That stress is going to harm you way more than eating that chip is”. Finding the correct balance of foods is the key to longevity, especially with respect to richer foods like BBQ. Here are some ways to cook a healthier BBQ, one that Brady would be proud of.
The move to the Buccs has been quite controversial, bringing back tight-end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement and setting up a Tampa Bay with a strong offensive line up.
There are of course other teams who will look to stop the progress of Brady and the Buccs. To maintain his high and consistent levels of performance, he has always stuck to a strict diet.
Drinking 12 to 25 glasses of water a day, the 42-year old has developed a nutrition plan that has seen him maintain his form and impact even 20 years later into his career. He tends to stay away from pale ‘unnatural’ looking foods. In his 2017 book, The TB12 Method, Brady said: “Many people have conditioned their bodies to a nutritional regiment made up of lots of white or pale-looking foods —french fries, potato chips, white bread, chicken nuggets—that don’t exist in nature.”
Healthy BBQ Tips
Replace red meat with alternatives
Skinless chicken breast and fish are perfect examples of healthier alternatives to red meat. The good fats in fish have health benefits and chicken without the skin has significantly less saturated fats. Try marinating fish fillets in foil, or grilling hand-made chicken or turkey burgers. Another option is barbecued chicken fajita skewers, complete with avocado and zesty natural lime juice – full of vitamin c.
Choose healthier sides
Traditionally a south western BBQ has all the store-bought sides, like coleslaw, potato salad and more, all of which are packed with added sugars and unhealthy saturated fats.
Swap the traditional store-bought barbecue items for healthier homemade versions, a leafy salad with a very light dressing can be a perfect alternative.
Serve raw veg on the side
This is a bit of a curveball, but raw veggies are absolutely beautiful to taste and also incredibly satisfying. They provide the same crunch as a big bag of chips but without all of the calories.
Instead, raw veggies are packed with goodness and include way more vitamin B and C than their cooked counterparts. Be as adventurous as you please with these, but we’d recommend carrots, parsnips, and beets.
Use whole grain buns
Whole grain buns are packed with nutrients that can help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, it can work as a perfect companion to a burger or hotdog. However, be aware and keep a close eye on the manufacturing label, ensure it is 100% whole grain first in order to avoid breads that are mainly made from refined flour and have added sugars, sweeteners and vegetable oil.
Include more vegetables
Vegetables are naturally more full of fiber and vitamins, and on the grill, they taste absolutely exceptional. They also don’t contain the amino acids that form HCAs in grilled meat so there’s another reason not to forget your carrots and broccoli next time you’re behind the BBQ.
Flip your burgers often
Apparently if you flip your burgers often over a low heat you will massively reduce the risk of E. coli. Flipping every 30 seconds is recommended, producing the lowest level of HCAs.
Marinate to add flavor
Soaking or rubbing marinade into your food before cooking is a perfect way to flavor and spice the BBQ. Just about everything going onto the grill can be marinated. Look into the length of time you should marinate your food to get the desired effect and taste.
Homemade marinade uses less salt than many bought from a store and is simple to make. One thing to be aware of is maintaining hygiene when handling the foods, be careful not to touch anything without first washing your hands after marinating to avoid spreading bacteria.
Use a good and healthy cooking oil
When cooking on the barbecue you’re normally cooking at a very high heat, so make sure you’re using a healthy and heat stable cooking oil such as coconut oil or ghee.
BBQ fruits on the grill
Grilling fruits is the perfect way to enjoy the natural sugars caramelizing in the high heat.
This gives fruits an even sweeter flavor, perfect for a BBQ, and still a healthy alternative.
Try slicing some of your favorite fruits into pieces, placing a skewer into each of them and setting them down onto the grill.
Make your own sauces
If you’ve never experimented with making your own condiments then you haven’t lived.
Once you start producing your own sauces you will never go back to the store-bought stuff. When making your own, you can tailor just about any flavor to your own taste. You can make it sweeter, spicier, fruitier, or even more bitter. And it will be more healthy too!
Clean the grill
Burnt pieces of food that can get stuck over time must be cleaned off the grill. This helps prevent your food being affected by a bitter taste the next time you use it. Regular maintenance and cleaning helps remove bacteria that can build up and be transferred to your food. A dirty grill can also attract insects and other pests.