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6 healthy grill recipes for your Fourth of July BBQ

Fourth of July calls for a celebration with fireworks, friends, and, of course, food.

Hamburgers and hot dogs are standard fares for a Fourth of July BBQ, but they’re not always the most nutritious options. They’re full of fat, and red meat like beef isn’t the best for your heart. A burger or hot dog here and there won’t hurt, so feel free to enjoy them in moderation. However, don’t be afraid to expand your palate during these summer holidays and try one or more of these six healthy grill recipes for the Fourth of July.

Shrimp burger

We often eat shrimp as an appetizer, whether it’s on a skewer, in ceviche, or dunked in cocktail sauce. Why not make this delicious side dish part of the main event? This shrimp burger recipe from the New York Times is packed with protein, and the mineral selenium (found in shrimp) is good for your heart. You can make the burger even healthier by swapping regular toasted buns for whole-wheat buns, which are full of fiber and digest more slowly. It also keeps your blood sugar levels steady, so you feel fuller longer. If you’re on a low-carb diet, swap out the buns for a lettuce wrap or sandwich the burger between two thick slices of beefsteak tomatoes.

Watermelon burgers with cheese

Combine two of the season’s favorite things — watermelon and grilling — with this recipe from the New York Times. Cheese and watermelon make for a unique combination, but it’s a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savory flavors. Since watermelon is more than 90 percent water, it’s also the perfect way to stay hydrated in the summer heat. Cheese also has bone-strengthening calcium and protein that fortifies our muscles. If you’re keeping an eye on your fat intake, opt for a reduced-fat version of your favorite cheese (feta tastes especially delicious with watermelon).


Grilled scallop skewers

This protein-packed recipe from Bon Appétit switches out the high fat and cholesterol in steak for light, fresh scallops on skewers. Like shrimp, scallops have tons of selenium and also have immune-boosting zinc and energizing magnesium. This recipe also includes a half-teaspoon of ginger, a spice with anti-inflammatory properties. Though a half teaspoon may not be enough ginger to reap all these inflammation-fighting benefits, it does add the perfect amount of spice to the dish. Last, the addition of lime juice makes this the perfect dish for a light and summery vibe.

Grilled crispy-skinned salmon with whole lemon-sesame sauce

This Bon Appétit recipe elevates the humble salmon, turning it into a five-star dish. This pink fish is full of Omega-3 fatty acids that combat inflammation, boost metabolic health, reduce blood pressure in adults with hypertension, and lower the risk of breast cancer. Omega-3s can give you an aesthetic boost as well, combating dry skin and promoting hair growth. For this recipe, a spritz of lemon brings this dish the brightness it needs to balance the bitterness of the sesame oil.


Easiest-ever grilled veggie burgers

There are aisles full of delicious frozen veggie burgers at the grocery store, but there’s just something special about meatless burgers from scratch. This Bon Appétit recipe brings us a delicious and easy veggie patty recipe that even the most amateur grillers can fire up. The patty calls for nutrition-packed ingredients like black beans, flaxseed, and quinoa. Black beans are a plant-based protein with fiber and folate, a vitamin that helps you maintain red and white blood cells. Quinoa contains quercetin, an anti-inflammatory molecule, and flaxseed is another good source of Omega-3s.

Grilled spiced snapper with mango and red onion salad

Swap a basic romaine-lettuce salad for something a little more interesting at this year’s BBQ. This Bon Appétit recipe is a little sweet and packed with protein. The sweet mango is full of immune-boosting vitamin A that helps your body heal from infections more efficiently. Mango also boasts high levels of folate, magnesium, and amylases (digestive enzymes that bolster gut health). Snapper is a low-calorie fish that’s lean, firm, and even tastes a little sweet. The recipe asks you to grill the whole fish with its head intact but walks you through the process so beginners can follow this recipe as well.

Fourth of July barbecues are fun, but the menu isn’t always the most nutritious. If you’re looking to maintain a nutritious diet, there are plenty of alternative protein and fiber-packed recipes that you can throw on the grill alongside the more traditional offerings. With these simple tweaks, you can enjoy seasonal barbecue favorites without indigestion and heartburn. Plus, you’ll be full of all the energy and nutrients you need to sustain yourself all through the day, whether you’re jumping in the pool, running around the badminton court, or trying your hand at cornhole.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

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BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on and In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
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