It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over, but Labor Day is almost here. If you’re headed to a backyard gathering or outdoor festival, you’ll want to have what everyone else is having and not worry about the discomfort of excessive intestinal gas. Barbecue fare can take a toll on the digestive system, so keep these tips in mind.
Be Smart About Your Seasoning
Most bottled BBQ sauces tend to rely on starches and sugars that can be difficult to digest.
If you’re a guest
BBQ is probably sweet and spicy in your book, but you may have to switch things up a bit. Sauces typically use a base that is full of sugars and starches. Bottled sauces often sacrifice quality for cost, can help make meats cook too quickly, and are loaded with carbs. Go with a dry rub and you can enjoy the flavor you want and skip the stuff you don’t need.
If you’re hosting
Dry rubs are just one possibility. Channel your inner Bobby Flay and choose one of our sugar-free, low-carb barbecue sauce recipes.
Choose Lean Proteins
While the occasional red meat dish shouldn’t be a problem, animal fats can make you pack on the pounds.
If you’re a guest
Seafood or skinless chicken or should probably be your first choice, but if you have your heart set on enjoying some red meat there are healthy options. People often serve kebabs; just don’t overload your plate.
If you’re hosting
… All of the above, plus we’ve got main dish salads – with meat – and desserts that won’t make you feel like you’re deprived [links to recipes].
If you are cooking up some classic hamburgers, avoid beef that has more than 10% fat. Packages should be clearly labeled so that you can make informed choices.
You can always ask your butcher to let you know which cuts are leanest or to special order bison. Even if you don’t have a nearby butcher’s, most big supermarkets are staffed with butchers during the day. You can get the personalized service that’ll save you much more prep time than the 10 minutes you’ll spend at the counter. Butchers can tell you how to make the best of economy cuts and how not to dry premium, lean meats.
You may want to forget your low-carb, low-fat diet ‘just this once.’ Remember that eating the occasional serving of red meat won’t inflict any long-term damage. Stick to ‘no bigger than the palm of my hand’ rule to size up the recommended three- or four-ounce serving, and it’s all good!
Ditch the bun
Serve burgers on grilled portabello mushrooms. If that’s not an option, go for sliders (and their correspondingly smaller buns) instead.
Limit your intake to two alcoholic beverages. The hard stuff is probably a better choice; you’ll find far fewer carbs in liquor than in beer or wine. If you prefer mixed drinks, check out the low-carb margarita recipes (below).
Not into alcohol of any kind? Remember that lemonade and fruit punch are loaded with carbs. Make sure that you remember to drink water, particularly while you’re standing at the grill.
Be smart about caffeine consumption: avoid iced tea (black tea contains caffeine) and colas.
Swap the grain-based rice for cauliflower rice; limit yourself to a tablespoon or two or pre-soaked and rinsed beans.
Check here for a selection of great margarita recipes.
Ideal internal temperature for each cut of meat
Serving a big crowd often means serving a variety of tastes. Even if everyone likes the same protein, you’ll be asked to serve meats at varying degrees of doneness. There’s a safe and easy way to ensure that everyone enjoys the meal: invest in a meat thermometer and refer to this handy chart. (Tip: pound or press meats to uniform thickness so the cut cooks evenly.)
Also, remember to include rest time when planning when to cook and serve. “After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.” (Per USHDS)
Outdoor food safety
There’s often a lot going on while everyone is catching up, so it’s easy to forget about food safety once the grilling is done. In addition to covering food so it remains insect-free, be sure to follow these tips (and refer to this chart for full instructions):
– do keep perishable foods in a cooler until it’s time to cook
– if it’s under 90 degrees, keep perishable food out for a maximum of two hours
– if it’s over 90 degrees, keep perishable food out for under one hour
– have a couple of sets of tongs, barbecue forks, and separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables
– don’t use tongs or forks that were used on raw foods to serve cooked foods
– keep several bottles of hand sanitizer available for guests
Keep these tips in mind and keep CharcoCaps® dietary supplement on hand.The anti-gas detoxifying formula for gas, bloating and flatulence.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.