Whether it’s a vacation, taking the family for a day in the park, or
just hanging out with friends on the beach, summer is considered the
ideal time to be out and about. While we’re out, we may tend to grab a
snack to carry us through the day. However, in the midst of enjoying
ourselves we end up reaching for the water ice, ice cream, and other
sweet (but unhealthy) snacks.
Take a look at these summer treats that go great with the season, and your diet!
Grilled Vegetables: If you haven’t
yet, I’m sure you will visit a barbeque or a cookout soon, maybe even
host one of your own. When you do, try throwing some vegetables on the
grill such as zucchini, onions, eggplant, bell pepper, or any other
low-calorie vegetable that you enjoy. It will add a lot of flavor to
your meal, but won’t add nearly as many calories as other side dishes
that will be close by.
Watermelon: Watermelon is an ideal
fruit for the summer season. With a name like “water” melon, you would
think it is made of a lot of water, and you would be right. A cup of
diced watermelon contains 92 percent water, perfect for hydration during
those hot summer days. Watermelon is also high in Vitamin A (helps with
eye health) and Vitamin C (helps strengthen the immune system), add the
delicious flavor and you have your prototypical summer treat.
Salads: Salads are relatively easy
to make, and convenience is certainly what we are looking for when it
comes to summer. However, try changing things up by adding some whole
grain to your salad such as wheatberry or tabouli. Adding whole grain
gives you the chance to taste something new as well as bring all the
nutrients and benefits that comes with whole grains. If you’re looking for some healthy ways to add toppings to your salads, take a look at this.
Just because we find time to take a break during
the summer doesn't mean we have to take a break from our diet. These
snacks are great to enjoy in the summer and don’t come with the guilt of
not sticking to your diet. If you have any other snack ideas that you
love to use during the summer feel free to leave them in the comment box
Links: Watermelon.org, Webmd, Redbookmag,com
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the years weight and obesity* has become an increasing concern in
America. However, a recent study shows that this issue spreads beyond
recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet, gives a
comprehensive look at obesity around the world and the results are
universally the same: obesity is rising. The study analyzed 188
countries and it took a look at obesity rates from 1980-2013. During
that time, they found that the obesity rate rose 8 percent for both men
(from 29 to 37 percent) and women (from 30 to 38 percent). Also,
overweight* and obesity rates increased in children and adolescents by
almost 50 percent, with the increases primarily occurring in developed
with the obesity increasing around the world, the United States
continues to contribute most to the rising rate with 13 percent of its
population, or 87 million, being obese. However, they are a couple of
silver linings that we can consider. For one, developed countries such
as the United States have seen their pace of obesity slowed recently,
and our physical activity levels are increasing. With and increased
activity rate and better dieting methods maybe we'll be able to be one
of the few (or the first) countries to decrease the rate in the future.
For more information on the study, click here.
*Overweight- Body Mass Index (BMI), or weight-to-height ratio, greater than or equal to 25 and lower than 30.
*Obese- BMI equal or greater than 30.
Links: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, USA Today
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In an effort to make our food taste as good as possible, we sometimes
add unnecessary calories to our meals. Oils, dressings, and sauces
certainly can liven up a meal, but it comes with a price. Calories and
fat are staples in those types of items, making a potentially healthy
meal, a meal that could add pounds that you don’t want.
Here are some ways to spice up the flavor of your meals while still maintaining a healthy diet:
Lemon Juice- Lemon Juice adds a
zesty taste to your meal and goes well with salads or chicken dishes.
Also, if you are thirsty but looking for some flavor, instead of
reaching for the bottle of sugary juice, just add some lemon juice to a
glass of water.
Herbs- For the most part herbs are
extremely low in calories (<1 per tablespoon), but they pack a lot
of flavor. Herbs like Rosemary, Basil, and Dill are ideal for salads and
are healthier alternatives for the creamy dressings you may use, and
could also add to the presentation of your dish.
Fresh Ginger- At only two calories
per teaspoon, ginger has a unique blend of spice, flavor, and zest.
Many times we find ourselves using it only when it accompanies our sushi
meal, but it’s capable of so much more! Ginger can be used in your
dessert, marinade, or juice, and its versatility extends to being used
for medicine to treat upset stomachs, nausea, and other digestive
Cinnamon- Cinnamon is great for
adding to snacks and drinks. Top off your coffee, yogurt, nuts, or
oatmeal with cinnamon to add the flavor you’re looking for without the
calories. Cinnamon has two calories per teaspoon but more times than
not, you won’t even need to use that much.
These are just a few of the many alternatives there
are for adding flavor to your meal but not the calories. Never be
afraid to experiment with different spices and flavors in order to find
what you like best, as well as what you probably should stay away from.
If you have any additional ways to add flavor to your meal feel free to
add them in the box below!
Links: health.com, thekitchn.com
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