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How to make healthy choices at your Fourth of July barbecue

HOUSTON – You can probably guess some ways to avoid calories: skip the cheese, eat the burger without the bun.

However, there are other, more-appetizing tricks that won't make you feel like you got stuck with a bland burger.

Lean meat

When choosing a meat, Dr. Steffanie Campbell from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic said you don’t have to avoid your favorites, but instead choose lean cuts.

Choose white chicken over dark.

Buy burgers that are 95 percent lean instead of 80/20.

Turkey and bison burgers have less fat than traditional burgers and still offer full flavor. Campbell said turkey legs are not a terrible choice.

Also, she said, ribs are good.

“As long as you buy the lean cut, they are a bit of a smaller portion but they're also lean so they would be comparable to a steak or a hamburger or chicken,” Campbell said. “They're fun to grill and you can get a little creative with your marinades and rubs.”

Marinades and rubs, skip the sauce

Campbell said to use rubs and marinades and skip heavy sauces because, she said, sauces are usually high in sugar.

Condiments

When it's time to reach for condiments, use spices, oil, lemon, lime, salsa or hummus instead of ketchup, mayo or mustard.

Ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard are hiding sugar and additives that will sabotage your good intentions, according to Campbell.

Sides

Sides should include grilled vegetables, pasta salad slathered with oil and vinegar, not mayo. If you want a crunchy side, Campbell said, pork rinds and kale chips are a better choice than potato chips.