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In the garden with: Franca Mangiameli (Nutritionist and author)

Franca Mangiameli – Photo: systemed

In the autumn of 2018 “Das große LOGI-Grillbuch“ (The big LOGI BBQ book) by Franca Mangiameli will be out as a paperback. The certified nutritionist wrote the book together with her colleague, Heike Lemberger. She already previously published several cooking books on the theme low-carb. Furthermore, TV viewers know her as a nutrition expert from various dieting shows (“BigDiet” and “Diät-Duell”) or from health journals.


Mrs Mangiameli, barbecuing and dieting – how do they fit together? For most people barbecues are primarily about culinary enjoyment.

Mangiameli: The LOGI method and barbecue enjoyment don’t contradict each other at all. LOGI is a diet that reduces the carbohydrates, i.e. bread, potatoes, pasta and of course sweet things, however a high amount of protein and high-quality fats are allowed. High-fibre water suppliers are the basis of the LOGI diet, in other words vegetables, salad, champignons and low-sugar fruits. As such all ingredients that one needs for enjoyable grilling fun are allowed. There’s nothing to argue with a cool beer or a glass of wine either. However, alcohol should only be consumed in moderation and high-proof alcohol sweetened with sugar as well as soft drinks should be totally avoided.


Are grilled meat and fish also low-carb and LOGI then?

Mangiameli: Yes, a barbecue with fish and meat is low-carb as long as one doesn’t eat loads of baguette and potato salad as well. But so that a mixed grill is not merely low-carb, but also LOGI, half of the meal should also always comprise of vegetables or salad. 


The big LOGI BBQ book – Photo: systemed

Who are you targeting with your book? Barbecuing is more a men’s thing and mostly women are interested in low-carb diets… Or is that a cliché?

Mangiameli: Of course we want to address both sexes with the book. Men can prepare the one half of the LOGI plate, i.e. the high-protein grilled food – such as fish and meat – and the women can fill the other half with tasty vegetable dishes and salads as well as dips.


What are the typical figure and health sins when grilling?

Mangiameli: The worst combination for our metabolic rate is that between refined carbohydrates and fat. The biggest sin during a BBQ evening is the baguette with garlic butter for instance. One should also avoid sweetened readymade sauces and prepare homemade dips such as aioli or guacamole instead. And anyone, who overdoes it with the alcohol, shouldn’t be surprised if he puts on weight either.


What do you place on the grill yourself?

Mangiameli: A juicy steak or a salmon steak is always nice – well-marinated because that ensures that the meat is nice and tender and aromatic. Furthermore, marinades can also reduce the formation of carcinogenic substances that can arise when grilling by up to 80 percent. Here, particularly marinades that contain mustard and rosemary head the field. Incidentally, soaking the meat in dark beer for several hours before grilling it also has a similar positive affect for one’s health. If I fancy something vegetarian, I sometimes also put feta cheese on the barbecue. I also love grilled avocados and aubergines, which I season with delicious olive oil. Grilled red onions are also a culinary delight, I then use them in a tasty salad with a good balsamic vinegar dressing.


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