You're in the buffet line at a family picnic. You're watching your weight, so you want to make some smart food choices. Do you pick the fried chicken breast or hamburger? Potato salad or baked beans? Coleslaw or pasta salad?
Actually, you're faced with a no-win situation. Most classic barbecue foods are probably not part of any discerning diet. Foods such as fried chicken, pork ribs, hot dogs and all the heavy-mayonnaise salads pack lots of calories and fat.
Still, you want to enjoy your summer and all the summertime eating. What is a weight-conscious person to do?
Nutritionists encourage looking for foods lower in fat and thinking outside the box when it comes to summer picnics or cookouts.
Instead of preparing hamburgers, make kebabs with lots of vegetables and either steak, chicken or shrimp.
"That way you have a little bit of meat, and every other bite you have a vegetable," says Jane Runyon, registered dietitian and director of Food and Nutrition Services at City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va. Also, if using a lean meat with the kebab, picnickers will avoid the fat found in hamburger and the added fat from condiments many people use when eating burgers.