It’s not Summer without at least a few backyard barbecues, but the typical food options — like hot dogs and hamburgers — often leave something to be desired. And that’s especially true if you’re trying to stick to healthy, high-fiber meals (and there’s good reason to do so — a diet consisting of high-fiber foods may help maintain regularity, a healthy weight, and may lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes).
If you’re trying to get that daily fiber in, but don’t want to sacrifice a good barbecue with friends, here’s what to eat to make both of those things a reality!
High Fiber Meals to Bring to That Barbecue
Grilled Salmon Sandwich
It’s not mandatory to have basic burgers at your barbecue. “If a backyard barbecue just isn’t a barbecue without a bun-based sandwich, try a grilled salmon sandwich on a whole wheat bun,” said Karen Ansel, RDN, a registered dietitian in New York City. Not only will your friends be very impressed that you took it up a notch, grilled salmon sandwiches come with loads of health perks. “You’ll get plenty of filling fiber from the bun, plus lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fats from the salmon,” said Ansel.
Black Bean Salad
“Beans are one of the few foods that boast fiber and protein,” said Ansel. The good news: you don’t have to spend hours soaking dried beans. “Canned beans are a super healthy alternative, especially if you can find them without added salt,” said Ansel. And why stick with black beans? “Any kind of bean is great, but black beans make a really stunning salad especially when mixed with colorful diced veggies like tomatoes, peppers, and corn and topped with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or basil,” said Ansel.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
What makes hot dogs and hamburgers so barbecue friendly is that they’re easy to eat — but other fiber-filled foods can be just as versatile. “When you don’t want to fuss with a fork and knife, shrimp tacos are the perfect handheld food, and they’re packed with lean protein,” said Ansel. You can bump up the roughage — which means more fiber — by serving them on corn tortillas and topping them with red cabbage slaw.
Better-For-You Potato Salad
According to Ansel, potatoes sometimes get a bad rap, but cold, cooked potatoes in foods like potato salad have a secret ingredient: resistant starch. Resistant starch, she said, is a kind of starch that works like fiber. It travels to the large intestine without being digested and has been shown to prolong satiety. “For even more fiber — and nutrition — make your potato salad from red bliss or yukon gold potatoes with the skins on, then skip the mayonnaise and dress it with an olive oil based vinaigrette for healthy fat,” Ansel advised.
Grilled Asparagus and Chicken
Grilled veggies are an easy way to pump up the fiber on your plate, said Ansel. “Asparagus is an especially good pick as a 10-spear serving gives you 3.5 grams of fiber, including inulin,” explained Ansel. Inulin is a special kind of prebiotic fiber. Pair your asparagus with a grilled chicken breast to complete your delicious, healthy meal.
Another great (and easy) way to get more prebiotic fiber in your life: Benefiber Chewables. These convenient, great-tasting chews are gluten free, and contain natural, prebiotic fiber. Here’s to living it up — and eating well — at your next barbecue!