For a lower-calorie chicken wing, Lona Sandon, a clinical nutritionist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, suggested grilling chicken pieces instead of traditional wings. Make your own hot sauce without the butter and use low-fat versions of cream cheese, sour cream and blue cheese, or substitute plain Greek yogurt, Sandon said.
Sandon also suggests ways to reduce fat from snacks and summer grilling:
-- Try salsas, low-fat sour cream dips or yogurt instead of traditional chip and vegetable dips, or low-fat versions of dressing instead of traditional ranch dressing. Substitute fat-free or lower-calorie ingredients such as vegetarian-style refried beans or whole beans, sour creams, low-fat cheeses and ground turkey to reduce calories for seven-layer dip.
-- Cut calories with baked tortilla chips, vegetarian refried beans or mashed black beans, low-fat cheese, peppers and tomatoes or fat-free sour cream.
-- Try vinegar-based sauces instead of those with high brown-sugar content for grilling. Mix chicken and beef to help lower overall calories.
-- Try leaner beef ribs instead of pork ribs, which are usually fatter. Consider brisket instead.
-- Try using your favorite spices and rubs on veggie, turkey, or soy burgers to give similar flavor with fewer calories, or blend hamburger with ground turkey or ground soy. Try beef jerky to get the beef flavor.
-- Look for 100 percent beef franks, turkey or soy instead of bratwurst, which usually has more calories than lean hot dogs.