The Ulitmate Guide To Healthy Summer Foods!

by Michelle on June 14, 2018

With summer here in full swing – finding healthy summer foods and recipes is crucial to helping you stay on track and working towards your goals of a healthier you! This guide will help you find the best choices and recipes this summer!

As the heat increases there always seems to be a shift in the way we eat and what sounds good for Summer dining versus Winter fare.  Certain foods are more available in each season which also dictates what we eat…and “how” we eat it. For example, corn in the Summer can be grilled or eaten cold in a bean, avocado, and corn salad…but in the Winter it’s usually just a warm side dish.  The same goes for proteins (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and fish), grilling reigns supreme in the Summer while frying, baking, and steaming top the list in Winter.

There are hundreds of delicious Summer recipes available from a variety of great websites to get you started:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/grilling/healthy/photos/fresh-healthy-summer-recipes

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/quick-easy-summer-recipes

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/18026/seasonal/summer/

Regardless of what foods you like to eat in the Summer or how you like to prepare them, always keep in mind a few healthy rules:

 

  • Fresh Is Best:  opt for fresh fruits and vegetables you prepare yourself for the best nutritional value and to know exactly what you’re eating; if you eat an item as it appears in nature you’re doing it right!
  • Fresh Frozen is Okay Too:  many fruits and vegetables are “flash frozen” at their peak of freshness and it’s fine to use these in place of fresh items; canned usually has an overload of sugar & salt, so frozen is better than canned.
  • Select Lean Proteins:  choose lean beef and pork (no fat slabs and very little, if any, marbling), cut the fat from chicken and turkey (white meat is leaner than dark meat), and go for “white fish” varieties (cod, halibut, sea bass, etc., even shrimp) over fattier fish, except for salmon…the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial so mixing it in your menu once in a while is fine.
  • Watch out for Side Dishes:  with items like baked beans, potato salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, etc. it’s easy to load up your plate with a lot of fat and calories.  Try having grilled vegetables, light vegetable salads, and fruit while keeping the heavier creamy/sugary/fatty sides to a minimum.
  • Minimize Alcohol & Soda:  beer has the most calories (except for “light”, of course) and rum has the least…with vodka, tequila, and wine fall somewhere in the middle…but all can really add up and aren’t good sources of hydration in hot weather.  The same goes for soda…the calories are listed on the can/bottle and the sugar content is very high…even “diet” varieties aren’t good for you in general due to the problems many people have with artificial sweeteners. Try flavored “bubbly” water or even just plain water as better options.

 

Enjoy the Summer and eating what you love…even if it might not be that good for you all the time.  Just make most of your food selections from the healthy category and minimize the unhealthy foods and beverages to still feel satisfied while taking good care of yourself.

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