BBQs are a great way to spend time with family and friends, but the typical fare of burgers, hot dogs and indulgent desserts can be challenging to navigate when you're living a low-carb lifestyle. Luckily, there are many delicious and healthy options that you can enjoy while sticking to your keto*-friendly diet. Here are a few of our favorite tips to help you navigate your keto diet at your next summer BBQ!
1: SWAP THE BUN
While traditional buns are high in carbohydrates, lettuce wraps are a great alternative. They are low in carbs and add a nice crunch to your meal. There are also plenty of great keto*-friendly bread alternatives or even try a low-carb tortilla for a fun twist.
2: CHOOSE GRILLED, BAKED OR CURED MEATS OVER BREADED
Breaded meats and appetizers tend to be higher in carbs and should be limited when following a ketogenic diet. Choose protein based appetizers, like a charcuterie board with deli meats and cheese, or veggie based snacks, like an almond flour “breaded” cauliflower bites. When grabbing food from the BBQ, go for the grilled meats like chicken, beef or fish. All three are good options that provide not only protein but other important nutrients, like zinc and choline.
3: TRY SOME PLANT-BASED MEAT ALTERNATIVES
While plant-based meats are a notorious staple in vegan and vegetarian diets, they can also be a great BBQ alternative for those following a low-carb diet. Here are some of our favorites that have less than 10 grams of carbohydrates and 15+ grams of protein per serving:
- Impossible Burger Ground Beef: 9 grams CHO, 4 grams net carbs*, 19 grams protein
- Beyond Meat Beyond Beef: 7 grams CHO, 5 grams net carbs*, 20 grams protein
- Field Roast Plant-Based Bratwurst: 10 grams CHO, 6 grams net carbs*, 25 grams protein
*Net Carbs = Total Carbs - Fiber - Sugar Alcohol
4: OPT FOR DRY RUB SEASONINGS INSTEAD OF SUGARY SAUCES
Many BBQ sauces contain more carbohydrates (mainly from added sugar) than most people are aware of. If you’re following a strict keto diet, this likely won’t fit into it. Instead, opt for dry rub seasonings like garlic, herbs and spices. With the right combination, these add the perfect flavor to your meal and minimize your intake of added sugars.
5: CHEERS WITH A LOW-CARB BEVERAGE
While some alcoholic drinks tend to be high in carbs, there are some low-carb options that you can enjoy in moderation. Spirits like vodka, gin, and tequila are lower in carbohydrates than beer and sweetened cocktails and can work in your meal plan.
6: NUTRITIOUS LOW-CARB SIDES
When it comes to sides, there are many nutritious and delicious options to choose from. Some great ideas include a fresh herb marinade over grilled vegetables like zucchini, asparagus and bell peppers, a low-carb egg salad, or even a homemade mac and cheese made from cauliflower. There are countless keto*-friendly side dishes to dig into, so experiment and enjoy!
BE PREPARED, JUST IN CASE
If you’re a guest at someone else’s gathering, make sure you bring a dish that suits your diet goals, so you have a backup plan to enjoy in the case they have limited options that fit your dietary preferences. To keep you satisfied and satiated until you have the time to scope out the full BBQ fare, snack on one of :ratio’s Keto*-Friendly Bars on your way over.