Summer is here and we’re kicking off the Fourth of July festivities with some grilling. Here are some tips from Dr. Donna, Optimal Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center’s nutritionist for heart-healthy grilling and barbecue this season!
• Go green… and red, orange, yellow, purple and more. Serve green leafy salads or fruit salads (or a combination of both, like baby spinach with strawberries or mixed greens with orange slices) instead of mayonnaise-based salads. Add some crunch – and healthier fats – with some toasted walnuts or almonds instead of croutons.
• Instead of potato chips, which can be high in saturated and trans fats, serve raw veggies like cucumber, carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and broccoli and cauliflower florets with a low-fat dip.
• Drink water or flavored club soda. Regular sodas are loaded with sugars and calories.
• Cut back on commercially baked foods, like cookies, pies and cakes. Remember that most store-baked goods are made with egg yolks, butter or shortening and other ingredients that are high in saturated fat and/or trans fat.
• A smoothie with luscious fresh fruit in season, fat-free vanilla or lemon yogurt and a touch of honey makes a healthy, refreshing dessert alternative.
• Try grilling fruits like pineapple slices, nectarines, peaches or plums – the natural sugars caramelize with the heat and give them great flavor. Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories.