Summer is the season for pool parties, lazy days at the lake, and family barbecues. The long cold days of winter have given way to warm sunshine and the smell of hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill. Unfortunately, many traditional cookouts feature foods loaded with extra calories and fat. With a few simple tips, you can pile on the flavor and not the pounds at your next barbecue.

The foundation for a healthier cookout menu is a good lean protein. Chicken, turkey, pork, and fish can provide a lighter alternative to traditional ground beef. If you aren’t ready to stray from the ground beef, try switching to a leaner cut such as sirloin. If you choose to use a leaner cut of meat, try adding some finely chopped veggies such as onions, peppers, or mushrooms, into the mixture. The vegetables keep the meat moist and boost the flavor.

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