People often associate summer with hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, smoked barbeque, and sweet, fresh squeezed lemonade. When you’re trying to lose weight during the summer months, it can be difficult to avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar and saturated fat. Eating more healthy summer food doesn’t have to feel impossible, however.
While you don’t have to give up these traditional foods entirely to lose weight, you should have a plan in place for eating healthy and enjoying them responsibly. You don’t need to have a food map in hand when you go to your next barbeque, though. Just look for healthy alternatives instead of your typical summer fare. You can even ask your hosts beforehand if they’d like you to bring healthier options for their guests.
Here are 3 types of healthy summer food to consider:
1. Grilled Fish
Need an alternative to that burger? Try grilled fish! Most fish will give you the protein you’re looking for without all the fat of your typical burger. Fish is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to lower blood pressure and maintain heart health. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating two services of fish per week. Fish is also rich in phosphorus and calcium, two essential nutrients.
You could eat grilled fish the same way you eat a burger (in a bun), but if you want to cut even more calories and sugars you should try to eat it on its own. Try salmon, swordfish, mahi-mahi, and snapper on the grill with a light marinade or covered in squeezed lemon with delicious herbs and spices.
Fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all low in calories and high in nutrients. For example, one cup of strawberries contains only 50 calories but has 3 grams of fiber and a large amount of vitamin C. You can eat berries in your salads, make smoothies with them, or just set them out on the table in a bowl.
3. Summer Salads
All of the items listed above can be added to salads, which are a great healthy summer food choice and can make a light meal. You can make healthy salads with spinach, arugula, kale, and other hearty greens, or you can opt for a fruit salad with apple, grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, apricots, blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, lemons, passion fruit, and plums.
If you’re trying to lose weight by eating summer salads, watch out for additions that can add fat and calories. Creamy dressings, cheeses, croutons, and fried foods can turn a light salad into a high-calorie meal. It’s best to use these items sparingly. If you can’t give up your creamy dressing, try using only a little bit. Instead of drowning it in dressing, shake your salad up to cover it in flavor.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
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