Eating is a huge part of our summer experience and while it’s occasionally okay to indulge in moderation, here are six unhealthy foods that you should try to avoid and their alternatives that will keep you healthy this summer.
- Mayonnaise-based salads. A small half-cup portion of typical potato salad has 180 calories and 12 grams of fat; the same amount of coleslaw has about 150 calories and 8 grams of fat. To cut calories, make your side salads with light mayonnaise; or mix mayo with low-fat yogurt or light sour cream. An even healthier choice would be a simple side salad.
- Salad toppings. Salads can be a great summer meal. But, high-calories toppings such as bacon bits, cheese, creamy dressings, fried chicken and croutons can add up in a hurry. Instead, top your salad with grilled chicken, veggies and a light dressing.
- Ice cream. This sweet treat is a summer favorite, but it packs a fattening punch. Just one scoop of rich ice cream can contain nearly 300 calories. Opt for fat-free frozen yogurt instead.
- Hot dogs. The hot dog is one of America’s most popular foods. On the Fourth of July alone, Americans consume 150 million hot dogs – enough to stretch across the country more than five times! However, the nitrites and nitrates in processed meats such as hot dogs have been linked to many types of cancer. Try grilled chicken kabobs with vegetables instead.
- Chips. Chips are one of the top dietary contributors to weight gain. One 15-chip serving size potato chips has 160 calories, 10 grams of fat and 170 milligrams of sodium. If you’re looking for something crunchy to snack on, try carrot sticks.
- Cold drinks. Sweet, fruity alcoholic drinks may go down easy, but the calories add up in a hurry. For example, a Strawberry Daiquiri contains 800 calories! Avoid or limit alcohol consumption. You should also stay away from other beverages such as sodas and sweet tea. Stick with water instead.