Tasty Ways to Eat Healthier This Summer

By Sandy Schroeder

Summer really does help us relax, but it can lead to a lot of food temptations. When we light the barbecue, order fast food, and celebrate holidays with huge meals, healthy foods do not always make the cut. Everybody has a favorite, from hot dogs to potato salad to steaks, but it's still possible to eat healthy and stay trim with a few simple steps.

Harvard Health suggests some simple ways to lower cholesterol and cut calories with tasty choices.

Avoid saturated and trans fats - Cut back on red meat and stick to lean cuts. Eat less sausage, hot dogs and lunch meat and grill more salmon, shrimp and whitefish, paired with all sorts of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Fill your plate with veggies - Enjoy fresh corn, zucchini, avocados, cucumbers, red peppers, carrots, and onions. Choose hummus, nuts and seeds, and low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or dark chocolate. Put seasonings and olive oil to work in spicy recipes from Epicurious.com. Start with family favorites and keep looking for the dishes they love. The better it tastes the less you will miss the fats.

Make fiber work for you - Black bean tacos and hearty bowls of old-fashioned oats topped with berries will keep you satisfied all day and lower cholesterol. Stick to whole wheat breads and tortillas and bake your own fruit loaves or berry tarts. Get the kids involved in the kitchen and ditch all of the commercial pastries, chips and cookies.

Learn more about plant sterols and stanols - Naturally occurring plant compounds help to reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body. Check the labels and look for them in healthy margarines, juices and yogurts. They satisfy the appetite as they work for the body.

Take control of temptation - When there are donuts at work and pizza at home, it's hard to eat healthier. Pack along fruit, nuts and low fat cheeses for work snacks, and cook more at home with shrimp tacos, low-fat fettuccine recipes, or spicy soups, side dishes and salads. Keep it interesting with new recipes and take the kids along when you go to the farmers market.

Hit your stride - Keep trying until you and your family find the fresh foods and tempting healthy recipes that you love. Then it's easy to bake fruit tarts, whip up a spicy hummus dip, or munch on nuts and fruits instead of chips.

When cauliflower soup tastes better than a burger, you know you are winning the food fight, and you are on your way to a slimmer healthier body. Enjoy.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Goodyear, Ariz.

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