Summer Favorite Foods Done the Healthy Way
By Brandi Goodman
National Ice Cream Month, National Hot Dog Month, and National Picnic Month all get celebrated in July. Ice cream and hot dogs are some summer favorites to enjoy, along with other options easy to take on picnics, to the park, or otherwise enjoy outside. Your summer favorite foods can be made healthier so you can still enjoy them without feeling so guilty. There's just some substitutions to make.
Create a homemade ice cream that you can enjoy when you want a cool treat on a hot day. The versions purchased in-store are often filled with fat and calories due to the milk used in the creation process. Banana ice cream is a healthy solution that you can make easily at home. You can simply blend up frozen bananas for a banana "ice cream" option. If you don't want a straight banana flavor, add some peanut butter to the mix. You can also add in dark chocolate chips for a better treat with some added benefits. Dark chocolate contains lots of antioxidants.
Hot dogs are not touted as a health food in any case. However, there are ways to enjoy the popular summertime meal without so many calories or as much sodium in the mix. Start by choosing a whole wheat bun instead of using white. Next, choose a turkey dog instead of one made with beef or other ingredients. Trader Joe's Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs are one of the healthiest versions you can find in a store. You could also go with Applegate Naturals Turkey Hot Dog. It's fewer calories.
Potato salad is another summertime classic that could use some toning down. Just one cup contains more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium, depending on the kind you get. It also clocks in at more than 350 calories. Since this is just a side and not a full meal, the calorie count and sodium content needs to be dialed way back to make it safe to consume. A healthy homemade potato salad should use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for the mixture. A non-fat version is best to reduce fat and calories.
Nutrition is important to consider. You don't have to skip your summer favorites though. Just be sure to make some substitutions and you'll still be able to enjoy the classic foods and treats you normally eat throughout the summer months. Plenty of delicious health food options exist to replace the ones you're used to.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.