What could be more South African than a braai?

Find out how to keep the most enjoyed and traditional of South African meals healthy and delicious.


Snacking and chatting

Before the meat is even on the fire, packets of chips have been opened and sugary cool drinks and beers have been poured. You can still enjoy pre-braai snacks while your chat, but without the whopping calorie count!

Instead of opening two bags of chips, substitute one bowl of chips for cropped raw vegetables like carrots. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, vegetables provide the crunch sensation of chips without the fat and they’re full of fibre!
Opt for diet cool drinks, fresh fruit juice or flavoured water instead of sugary drinks or alcohol – your liver will thank you! Make your own flavoured water by chopping fresh fruit and placing in a jug of water. Chill in the fridge and add ice blocks before serving.

Braai Master Tricks

Cooking meat on a fire at high temperature produces carcinogenic compounds which may increase the risk of cancer. To lower the levels of carcinogenic compounds, pre-cook meat to lessen time on the grill, lower the grilling temperature by spreading coals evenly and elevating the grill, and turn meat frequently to avoid charring.

Try marinating your meat in a simple olive oil, lemon juice and garlic marinade, found to cut chemicals in grilled chicken by up to 90%! If you love steak, marinate it in beer or wine before grilling; a study found it dramatically reduces levels of carcinogenic compounds.

Salads and Grains

When serving bread, opt for low-GI options and make salads the healthy staple of a braai. Make a fresh green salad (sans oily salad-dressing) and give those old South African favourites, potato salad and coleslaw, a slimming makeover by substituting half of the mayonnaise in the dressing with fat-free yoghurt.

Get those braai tongs out; it’s time to enjoy our South African heritage the healthy way!
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Sources: Time Healthland, That’s Fit and NPR