Make the sizzle swap for a healthier Boxing Day barbeque

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The Boxing Day Barbeque is an Aussie classic, and while it might be tradition to indulge, the food you pop on the grill doesn’t have to put you at risk.   

Christmas is a time when Queenslander’s love to splurge and by swapping out a few ingredients for healthier alternatives, your Boxing Day barbeque can help reduce your chance of over-indulging and weight gain.  

At least one third of all cancer cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, including maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. 

Here’s five fast tips to a healthier Boxing Day barbeque.

1. Swap processed meats for lean cuts

Meats high in saturated fat and salt such as sausages, and processed meats like bacon, are associated with an increased risk of some cancers. Opt for leaner meat options by grilling up a few kebabs, skinless chicken, or a few lean mince patties.

2. Swap salts and sauces for herbs and spices

Your guests will thank you for removing the tomato and barbeque sauce bottles from the table when they taste the extra flavour from healthier herbs and spices.

You can lower your kilojoule intake by swapping out these sugar-laden sauces for chopped up chives or spring onions or spreading on some avocado or hummus to whole meal bread.

3. Swap your side of fries for a serve of veggies

Increase the amount of colour on your barbeque by grilling some vegetables or serve your meat with a fresh summer salad.

Grilled veggies make for a great flavour add to your meal and are easy to pop in between your meat for a balanced kebab.

4. Swap red meat for fresh fish

Cancer Council recommends Queenslanders limit their red meat consumption to a weekly intake of 455g (cooked weight), and with a few days of feasting on the calendar, this could easily be overtaken.

If you’ve got a few too many red meat options on the grill, swap them out for a fresh serving of fish to balance it out. Stocked full of protein, zinc, iodine, vitamins, and omega 3, fish is a nutritious option for your Boxing Day barbeque.

5. Swap your deli spread for a veggie and dip platter

Instead of chewing on a sliver of salami, switch to a platter of sliced veggies and dips such as hummus or guacamole.

Have some fun with it and cut the fruits and vegetables into festive shapes like Christmas trees and candy canes. The swap will save you from the added salt and saturated fats found in these processed meats.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland and healthy living is available at cancerqld.org.au.