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It’s that time of year where the sun shines, barbecues are being dusted off, friends and family invited over and food is being cooked in the garden rather than the kitchen, which is great for your social life but not so much for your waistline. However, barbecues don’t always have to mean fatty meat and sugar-laden sauces. Here we look at five foods which are delicious when cooked on the barbie but won’t make you pile on the pounds (although we can’t do anything about the jug of Pimms!)

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is very low in calories, as well as being packed with vitamins and minerals, and tastes delicious when cooked on the grill. Corn is a great source of fibre and antioxidants and digests slowly, giving you a lasting burst of energy. Either wrap them in tinfoil and cook for at least 20 minutes, or parboil them first and finish on the grill for a lovely smoky finish.

Salmon

A lot of people are scared to cook fish because they think it’s complicated but salmon steaks are one of the easiest things to cook on a barbecue. Marinate with lemon and dill before placing on the grill for a lovely summery taste and serve with salad and cous-cous. Just 100g of salmon offers 20g of protein, as well as a massive 53% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin B3.

Chicken

Chicken is a hugely versatile meat and as long as the skin is removed, it’s low in calories and saturated fat. It can be marinated overnight in a whole host of different seasonings and takes on a wonderful flavour when cooked over charcoal. Olive oil and red pepper flakes make a tasty rub if you like a little heat and Jerk seasoning offers a huge amount of flavour for those of us who like a LOT of heat!

Asparagus

Asparagus is one vegetable which works really well when cooked on a grill and is unbelievably nutritious – 100g of asparagus offers 15% of your RDA of Vitamin A and 11% of your daily iron. The great thing with asparagus is that it also makes a fantastic delivery method for tasty dips – we love to dip grilled asparagus into hummus or cooling tzatziki.

Steak

If you’re going to go for red meat on the grill, opting for a good, low fat cut such as sirloin is far better for your health than processed burgers or sausages. Steak is something which can be cooked quickly over the high heat of the grill and although it may cost a little more, the actual value per pound is far higher in terms of health and nutrition…as well as taste!