Your Favorite Warm Weather Foods, Only Healthier

May 21, 2014 at 8:28 am |
By




Your Favorite Warm Weather Foods, Only Healthier

By Vanessa Voltolina

Your favorite warm weather foods only healthier! Besides
sunny days and wearing fewer layers, warmer weather also has us
looking forward to spring and summer foods like grilled pizza, fried
chicken and ice cream. But while they initially sound
delicious, many classic warm weather foods actually make the list of
the worst
foods

you can eat

yikes!

Thankfully,
there are some tried-and-true ways to enjoy foods you love with some
small tweaks. For example, Jenny
Champion
,
a New York City-based registered dietitian, recommends grilling.
Choosing grilled foods aren’t only flavorful, but they often have
reduced fat, since most of the fat drips off of the food as it cooks.

In
addition to grilling, here are six ways to enjoy the fresh tastes of
spring and summer foods while reducing the unhealthy extras:

Kebab
It Up

While
a big slab of beef on the grill may make your mouth drool, it can
also mean consuming some extra saturated fat and cholesterol that may
be detrimental to our health in the long run. Instead of one large
piece of meat, Champion suggests you make kebabs. Enjoy bite-sized
pieces of meat as a treat, but for the majority of time, stick with
lean proteins — chicken, turkey, tofu or tempeh — and add lots of
veggies, says Champion.

Use
Less Sauce

One
of the places where extra calories and sugar sneak into our diets
often is in sauces and creams. Instead of dousing your kebabs or lean
protein in barbecue sauce, try using one-third less.

Swap
the Mayo

Nothing
says summer like creamy pasta salad, but next time you plan to whip
up this dish, try using
avocado
instead of mayo
.
While avocados are higher in fat than most fruits, they are also
packed with fiber, potassium and other important nutrients, and have
been used as a spread in Spain, Mexico and Central America for years.
Aim to use one-quarter to one-half of an avocado for your pasta
salad; a half of an avocado usually does the trick, yielding about
1/3 cup of “mayo.”

Rethink
Your Buns

Enjoying
a piece of bread every so often is certainly no crime, but especially
when eating out, hot dog and burger buns tend to be lackluster in
taste. So save those extra calories for another one of your summer
favorites instead. Swap a bun for a lettuce wrap or other high-fiber,
low-calorie wraps, says Champion.

Stay
Cool

Ice
cream may be one of the ultimate summer foods, but there’s no
reason you can’t beat the heat with an alternative — but still
icy-cool — treat. Instead of regular ice cream, which packs quite a
few calories and grams of fat, opt instead for frozen fresh fruit
pops. They are super easy to
make
yourself
,
and you can experiment by adding in low-fat yogurt for a creamy
texture and using seasonal fruits like berries for a sweet treat.

DIY
Chips

Crunchy
potato chips and french fries often make their way onto our plate as
a convenient side dish to summer staples. In most cases, these
deep-fried favorites clock in as the most highly-caloric ingredient
on your plate! Instead of french fries or potato chips, make your own
carrot
chips
for
dipping instead of potato chips, suggests Champion. They are lower in
calories, and offer vitamin
A, biotene and other healthy
nutrients
.
The same goes for
sweet
potato fries
;
make yours baked, not fried, and top with a drizzle of olive oil and
a pinch of salt.

Vanessa
Voltolina
is a former online editor for NBCUniversal. Her work has
appeared in several national publications, including Weight Watchers and
SHAPE.

Your Favorite Warm Weather Foods, Only Healthier By Vanessa Voltolina Your favorite warm weather foods only healthier! Besides sunny days and wearing fewer layers, warmer weather also has us looking forward to spring and summer foods like grilled pizza, fried chicken and ice cream. But while they initially sound delicious, many classic warm weather foods […]