With warmer weather, who doesn’t love spending more time outdoors? Bring on the cookouts! With burgers, hotdogs, potatoes, baked beans, corn on the cob, and the various salads, many people often find themselves with high blood sugars (or hyperglycemia) after grilling out. Consuming one of these food items may not necessarily affect your blood glucose, but indulging in several carbohydrate containing foods may! The general recommendation is about 60g/carbohydrates per meal for males, and 45g/carbohydrates per meal for females. Especially when attending a gathering outside your home, you may not have access to nutrition facts, which may make it even more difficult to keep track of your carbohydrate intake. If unsure of the amount of carbs of foods you are consuming, I always recommend applying the plate method-limit half of your plate to non-starchy vegetables, ¼ of the plate lean protein and ¼ of the plate of carbohydrates.
Test your BBQ carb knowledge below and see how well you know the carb content on five commonly consumed barbeque foods!
1/3 cup of baked beans
2 tbsp. of Barbeque sauce
Hamburger/Cheeseburger with average size bun
Potato Salad (1 cup)
Corn on the cob (1 ear)
Answer: B – 15g/carbs per 1/3 cup
With sugar listed on the ingredient list, it’s no surprise why baked beans tend to be higher in carbs when compared to other beans! Keep in mind the serving size is only 1/3 of a cup, so that means if you have 1 cup that is 45g/carbs!
Carb saving tip: Limit to a small portion of these, or try to substitute for a non-starchy vegetable.
Answer: C – 15g. carbs per 2 tbsp
Sure, who doesn’t love marinating their chicken or ribs with barbeque sauce? The problem is, many of us exceed the 1-2 tbsp., and also use additional barbeque sauce for dipping, which can increase the overall carb content at your meal.
Carb saving tip: Try flavoring your meat with olive oil, fresh herbs and seasonings or other low carb options! If you can cut out condiments and marinades, you could cut calories, carbohydrates and sodium!
Answer: C – 30g carbs per bun
Remember, the burger or hot dog itself (whether turkey, beef) will not contain carbohydrates and toppings such as cheese, lettuce and tomato will not add any additional carbs.
Carb saving tip: You could save 30g/carbs, by going bun less or consume in a lettuce wrap. You also could try the sandwich thins or opt for a slider for lower carb options
Answer: C – 1 cup 30g
Especially if you are consuming this on the side in addition to other carbohydrates, it is very easy to exceed the suggested amount of carbs at the meal!
Carb Saving tip: You can try swapping for a salad or other vegetables or can also try making using cauliflower!
Answer: C – 32g/carbs per ear of corn
Will one ear of corn send your blood sugars through the roof? Likely not, but when eating in combination with other carbohydrate containing, it may certainly contribute to post meal spikes.
Carb saving tip: Buy the smaller ears of corn, or cut in half to reduce the carbs. You can also swap for a non-starchy vegetable that does not contain carbohydrates.
*Keep in mind carb content and nutrition facts may vary with sizes or between different brands and these are considered average grams of carbs. So especially, when going to the grocery store, try to compare a few different brands for the healthier or lower carb options.
Try checking your blood sugars after the meal, if BG are above two hour post meal target of 180, then next time try to implement some other changes to prevent BG from spiking up.
Have a happy and healthy grilling season!