Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Learn what to eat instead of hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs at your backyard barbecues this summer.

Summer is backyard barbecue time, so STACK teamed up with Nancy Clark, MS, RD, to identify athlete-friendly foods you can load up on at your summer cookouts—as well as ones you should limit.

Barbecue Foods to Skip

Hamburger: They're high in protein but also high in fat. "Fat will fill your stomach, but it really doesn't fuel your muscles," says Clark. Learn how to grill a healthier burger.

Hot Dogs & Brats: Like the burger, they're high in fat. They can also be high in sodium and chemical preservatives.

Ribs: They're glazed in sauce packing half as much sugar as a can of soda.

Chips: There's no faster way to pack on extra pounds than to mindlessly munch on these oil-fried potato booby-traps.

Soda: Sugar, carbonation, stimulants (caffeine). Nothing to like here.

Barbecue Foods to Eat

Chicken: Excellent source of lean protein. To shave calories, peel off the skin and apply a spice rub before grilling.

Salmon: Contains omega-3 fatty acids, which most Americans need more of.

Vegetables: Low in calories and high in vitamins. You can't go wrong with any of them.

Avocado: "Fat in avocados is healthier than the hard, saturated fat found in a hamburger," Clark says.

Shrimp: Another excellent source of protein, delivering five grams in just a 26-calorie serving.

Baked Beans: Beans are high in fiber, which makes you feel full longer, and carbs to fuel your muscles and brain.

Watermelon: A classic summertime dessert that helps you hydrate.

RELATED: How to Create a Healthy Backyard BBQ

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