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Best and Worst Foods for the Summer

By Griffin Hospital on 6/4/2018

Summer’s warm weather and longer days will likely encourage you to be more active, but they don’t always mean you’ll eat better – in fact, there may be more opportunities to reach for junk food when entertaining, grilling, hitting amusement parks and staying up late. Below is our list of some of the best - and worst - options when it comes to summertime foods.

Best Summer Foods

  1. Corn on the cob: Corn on the cob without butter or salt is a high-fiber, low-calorie food. You can shave some off the cob into salads, use it for healthy salsas, and grill it — just don’t overdo the butter! Tip: Choose the yellow variety over the white kind for added vitamin A.
  2. Watermelon: Biting into some watermelon is a great way to rehydrate after a long day in the sun. True to its name, watermelon is over 90% water. It’s also an even better source of cancer-fighting lycopene than raw tomatoes. At just 44 calories a cup, there’s no reason not to enjoy this summery fruit.
  3. Gazpacho: In the hot summer months, stirring a pot over a hot stove and tucking into a steaming bowl of soup is the last thing you want to do. Chilled soups are a perfect solution. Gazpacho is filled with healthy ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, which make it a light, yet flavorful soup.
  4. Grilled chicken kabobs: Easy to throw on the barbecue, chicken kabobs are packed with protein, but low in calories, fat, and carbs. Add vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and squash to your skewer for some delicious, summery flavors and loads of antioxidants.
  5. Shrimp cocktail: Great for a mid-afternoon snack, as an appetizer at a party, or for a light lunch, shrimp are a high-protein and low-calorie way to get energized. They provide about 14% of your daily-recommended iron intake, and a 3.5 ounce serving is less than 100 calories. Try topping them on salads or grilling them!

Worst Summer Foods

  1. Macaroni and potato salads: While mac and potato salads are a favorite throughout the summer, fattening mayonnaise is unfortunately what makes both taste so good. If you can’t go without them, try swapping in low-fat mayo or heart-healthy unsaturated fats, like olive oil, to your recipe.
  2. Corn dogs: Anything deep-fried is usually best to avoid, but this snack is in its own category, packing about 20 grams of fat and loads of sodium. If you just have to have a hot dog, try one that is less than 150 calories and 14 grams of fat, and limiting sodium to under 450 milligrams. Also, put it on a whole-wheat bun.
  3. Lobster rolls: If lobster rolls sound like a lean and healthy alternative to a hamburger, consider how they are assembled - Lobster meat is mixed with mayonnaise, then nestled inside a well-buttered white bread bun for a fat-clogged sandwich that weighs in at over 400 calories (more than half of which comes from fat). If you’re still craving a lobster roll this summer, try making them at home, where you can use just a dash of low-fat mayo, put them on a whole-wheat roll, and limit or even eliminate the butter.
  4. Fried clams: A few fried clams are fine to share with friends, but don’t make a meal of them. One 3/4 cup serving of this fried seafood classic packs nearly 500 calories and 26 grams of fat. Next time you have a craving, try cooking them. Cooked clams pack protein and are one of the best sources of vitamin B12, which is vital to a healthy nervous system and can help prevent anemia.
  5. Daiquiris: Daiquiris sound light and refreshing, but their nutritional profile is big and bloated. An 8-ounce strawberry daiquiri, for example, packs more calories than a double hamburger and is loaded with fat and sugar. There are plenty of healthier drinks to enjoy poolside, with or without alcohol. Try a wine spritzer or mix seltzer water with tropical juices.

Source: health.com

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