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5 Tips for a Low-Cholesterol Barbecue

How to Have a Tasty, Heart Healthy Barbecue

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Updated August 01, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Are you an al fresco dining aficionado? A great grill master? If you are like many barbecue fans, you may have some high cholesterol grilling habits. But barbecues don't have to be unhealthy, just follow these top tips for cholesterol-friendly meal.

Try a Better Burger Bison is a lower fat and cholesterol alternative to beef, with a satisfying, sweet taste. Treat your guests to a delicious hamburger alternative.

Go Meatless Who says that the grill is for meat only? Brands like Morningstar Farms and Boca make delicious cholesterol-friendly meat alternatives that are great for grilling. Just preheat your grill, coat a vegetable burger with olive oil or your choice of cooking spray, and grill for 2 to 3 minutes each side. You can check for doneness with a thermometer measuring an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let the patties cool slightly before serving.

Plan Ahead Herb-rubs, low-sodium marinades and brines prepared and applied before grilling can take the place of high-fat spreads and sauces and add an extra flavor punch. Try a delicious Onion and Orange or Roasted Garlic marinade and you can skip the mayo.

Get Creative With Toppings Spicy mustard, salsas, and relishes make for heart-healthy toppings. Grill onions and mushroom coated with olive oil, or try topping your burgers with reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles instead of full-fat cheese slices.

Add Heart-Healthy Appetizers and Sides Wow your guests with a delicious heart-healthy Grilled Eggplant Dip With Toasted Pita or fantastic Sweet Acorn Squash. Or why not try a fresh spinach salad with strawberries, grapes and walnuts?

Don't forget that food is only one part of a barbecue. Spending time with good friends helps relieve stress, which can also be helpful in preventing heart disease.

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