Easy tips for healthy eating this summer
It’s swimsuit season, but this doesn’t mean temptations don’t exist. With summer picnics, graduation parties and weddings, it can be difficult knowing which foods are healthy choices.
Diane Gallagher, a dietitian with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., offers these tips to help you choose foods with the lowest calories and highest benefits this summer.
- Stay away from the hot dogs and brats: Barbecues and picnics are popular summer traditions. You’re bound to run into classics like hot dogs and brats, but these aren’t the only foods you’ll have to choose from. Gallagher says to focus on eating lean protein with less fat and cholesterol. Search for foods such as grilled chicken and pork.
- Embrace fruits and vegetables: Summertime means lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from. Instead of filling up on classics like potato chips, coleslaw and potato salad, Gallagher recommends eating fresh fruits or leafy greens as an option. These will keep you full and provide more nutrition and less calories than many of the other food options. Plus, who doesn’t love corn on the cob? Just be careful when adding butter and salt.
- Get creative with your burger: Sometimes, we crave more than just fruits and vegetables, but we may find there aren’t many meat options. Burgers are a summer classic, and Gallagher says there are plenty of ways to make them healthier. For example:
- Remove the cheese from the burger
- Eat the burger bun-free or with only half of the bun
- Eat the burger in a lettuce wrap
- Choose a whole grain or whole wheat bun if available
- Eat half of the burger rather than the whole burger and fill up on something else
- Swap your sides and snacks: Instead of going for classics like potato chips and coleslaw, Gallagher recommends healthier classics such as pretzels or a bean salad.
- Choose your drink wisely: Gallagher reminds us that food isn’t the only thing that can contain a hefty amount of sugar and calories. Popular alcoholic drinks like margaritas have plenty of sugar. Soft drinks are another option with many calories and added sugars. Instead, Gallagher recommends trying items like water with lemon, flavored seltzer water, or a light beer.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.