Summer is here and BBQ season is in full swing! With Fourth of July and pool parties galore, you’ll have lots of opportunities to enjoy some great grilled food. Or does a host of delicious options represent a challenge? You can choose wisely with this list of some of the healthiest BBQ foods for summer.

Stick with a Simple Option: Burgers

Burgers are a BBQ centerpiece! Whether on its own or topped with cheese, bacon, and all the fixings, a burger can be a smart choice this summer.

If you’re the grill master, choose lean beef, turkey, or chicken, and add flavor with fresh herbs and spices. For gluten-free, Paleo, and low-carb diets, skip the bun and use lettuce as a wrap or simply go naked. Try something completely different: tomato or grilled pineapple as a bun. Even vegetarians and vegans can indulge with veggie, portobello, or black-bean burgers piled high with colorful veggie toppings.

Grilled Lean Proteins

Load up on lean protein options such as steak, chicken, fish, and shrimp. Grilled in foil or right on the grate, lean proteins are at the top of the list for many diets and are among the healthiest BBQ foods. Flavors such as fresh herbs and citrus keep your taste buds happy while maintaining your diet goals. If you’re Paleo, skip the margarine, and if you’re low-carb, add butter or cheese.

Create kabobs layered with lean protein and vegetables for a balanced meal right off the grill. If you don’t eat meat, marinate tofu or tempeh and grill them, paired with veggies.

Grilled Veggies Are Some of the Healthiest BBQ Foods

No matter which diet lifestyle you follow, grilled veggies are always a great option. Some of the healthiest BBQ foods include asparagus, portobellos, corn, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, and cauliflower. In fact, both vegetarians and low-carbers can enjoy cauliflower steaks.

When grilling vegetables, a splash of balsamic vinegar will give you a waistline-pleasing pop of flavor. Go all-in and skewer up veggie kabobs with all of your favorites.

Sides Make All the Difference

You don’t have to skip the sides when enjoying the healthiest BBQ foods. If the thing you love is high calorie or loaded with carbs, limit your portion size. Consider BBQ beans, if legumes are on your diet, or a salad if they’re not. No matter where the BBQ is being held, you’ll almost always find some kind of side that works with your way of eating. And of course, you can always bring a dish to share that fits with your lifestyle. Everyone else can try something new as well.

Save Room for Dessert

Everyone loves something a little sweet, and there’s nothing wrong with having a little treat at the end of your meal. Often, the backyard meal includes summer fruits, such as watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries; ice cream and other frozen delights; cakes; and pies. While desserts may not be among the healthiest BBQ foods, you can almost always find something that fits with what you can eat.

Fresh fruits are your best choice for a healthy lifestyle, and if you’re a high-fat, low-carb person, add sugar-free whipped cream or cream cheese dip. If you’re low-fat or Paleo, go for the straight-up option.

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