Q. Glen, Is there anything else I can eat to help me lose some weight?
A. Eating right can be difficult during the summer, especially with the amount of picnics, barbecues, and celebrations occurring almost every weekend. But just because your party hat is on, it doesn’t mean your diet should be off. With the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available during the season, it’s the perfect time to make some healthy food substitutions. Here are four delicious ideas:
Trade the Kool-Aid for a fruit infusion. Are you a Kool-Aid fan? If so, you could be taking in as much as nine teaspoons of sugar with every 12-ounce serving. Fruit-infused water is not much more complicated to make, and if you do it right, you won’t need to add any sugar to the mix. Just place some cut-up fruit in a pitcher of water, and top it off with the juice of half a fresh lemon, lime, or orange and a few crushed sprigs of mint; then let it steep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. In light of a recent report from Texas A&M University, you may want to consider concocting a watermelon-infused refreshment: Researchers have found that consuming watermelon benefits your circulatory system and, by extension, your sex life.
Swap the beef for bison. Because they’re often raised in open pastures, bison meat tends to be much leaner than other forms of meat. A 100-gram serving of bison contains less fat (2.42 grams) and calories (143) than a comparable serving of chicken, pork, or beef, plus it packs a wallop in the iron and vitamin B-12 department, providing 3.42 milligrams and 2.86 micrograms respectively. Season bison steaks or ground meat just as you would traditional steaks or ground beef, but keep in mind that since bison is a leaner meat, it takes less time to cook.
Sub the ice cream for frozen banana pops. We all scream for ice cream, especially in the summertime. Unfortunately, this sweet treat comes loaded with plenty of calories, carbs, and fat. Why not change it up with frozen banana pops? Simply cut a banana into small pieces, insert some popsicle sticks, and place the pieces on a baking sheets lined with waxed paper. Dip the bananas into honey, and twirl them to coat. Then gently roll each pop in shredded coconut or chopped nuts, and place it back on the wax paper. Pop the bananas into the freezer until well chilled, and you’ve got a delicious snack that’s good for you, too: One cup of mashed bananas is low in calories and contains 144 IUs of vitamin A plus 806 milligrams of potassium.
Switch the chips and dip for pitas and hummus. Nothing says “party” more than chips and dip. But even though some dips like salsa and guacamole can be quite healthy, their partners in crime—salty, fried potato or tortilla chips that bring in between 139 and 155 calories and 6.6 and 10.6 grams of fat per one-ounce serving (about 10 to 12 chips)—are far from diet-friendly. The next time the menu calls for a savory snack, why not try some pita triangles paired with hummus? Made from chickpeas, lemon juice, and olive oil, a tablespoon of hummus averages just 25 calories and 1.3 grams of fat, and it’s a good source of fiber, folate, manganese, phosphorous, and iron. A small pita contains a mere 77 calories and 0.3 grams of fat, and you can give it additional zest by lightly brushing it with olive oil and placing it on the grill for a few minutes.
Bottom Line Make smart choices whenever possible!
Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !
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Yours in good health