If you want to shed some of those unwanted pounds and create a healthy, nutrient-rich summer diet regime, you need to make a series of smart changes to your diet.
Summer is all about picking out healthy foods that help you stay cool, getting plenty of exercise and tucking in the muffin top we all acquire during the cold months of winter. However, summer also means vacations, which is basically a prelude to trying out new cuisines and eating to one’s hearts content.
A recent study revealed that children tend to gain thrice as more weight during the summer as they are likely to gain during the school months, because they develop a habit of enjoying video games accompanied with junk food.
Grown-ups also tend to gain weight while travelling, attending BBQ garden parties, state fairs and local street food vendors that constantly tempt us with calorie-laden meals. We’ve compiled a list of 17 foods that you must enjoy and avoid during the month of summer.
Here, take a look:
1. Worst: Onion Rings
Onions are credited for being one of the healthiest veggies known to humankind, however, if you devour them as deep fried onion rings, you kill their nutrient density and make them horribly unhealthy for your body. You see, when onions are loaded with eggs, flour, and salt, and then thrown in a pool of fat-rich oil for deep frying, they lose their nutrient capacity and become extremely disastrous for the heart.
A much better idea: Instead of deep frying, why don’t you give faux frying a try? Just slice the onions, dip them in egg whites, finely grated parmesan cheese, whole-wheat flour and panko breadcrumbs. Line them up in a baking pan, use some cooking spray, and toss them into the oven to be baked at 450 degrees for no more than 15 minutes. The taste will be much crispier, and healthier as compared to the oil-soaked deep-fry onion rings.
2. Worst: Daiquiris
Despite being extremely light and invigorating, daiquiris packs up an incredibly high nutrient density of fats and sugar, which induce bloating and promote weight gain. Little do we know that an 8-ounce strawberry daiquiri to brim you up fats and sugar, and nearly as many calories a double patty hamburger. Instead, of these unhealthy meals, treat yourself to fiber-packed apples, berries and veggies.
3. Worst: Corn Dogs
The state of Texas claims responsibility for introducing us to incredibly unhealthy deep-dried blend of damaging fats in a state fair that took place in 1942. Then, certain historical evidence also links up the origin of this horridly fat-filled dish with Minnesota. Regardless of its origin, corn dogs are highly popular in the streets of American and the fact that they are loaded with sodium and over 20 grams of unhealthy fats makes them horridly damaging for the heart.
A better idea: Research reveals that all deep fried foods must be avoided, and you can always replace their need by grilling or baking. The best way to enjoy the flavour of a hot dog is to pick out a whole grain bun, and a hot dog that doesn’t contain more than 14 grams fat and 150 calories. Also, be sure to maintain your sodium intake below 450 milligrams.
4. Worst: Fried Clams
It’s alright to toss a handful of clams into your mouth every now and then, but devouring a meal based entirely on fried clams is a horribly unhealthy decision. You see, a ¾ cup of fried clams contains more than 500 calories and an astoundingly toxic 26 grams of fat. If you must add them to your meals, be sure to cook them instead of deep frying.
Research reveals that cooked clams are one of the richest sources of protein, and an incredibly rich source of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that shields our body against the symptoms of anemia, along with protecting the nervous system.
5. Worst: Ice Cream Sandwich
Both, adults and children, adore devouring these creamy treats that pack up heaps of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. Little do we know, our favourite treats pack up 60% saturated fat and over 500 calories, an extremely unhealthy amount that effects our metabolism, cholesterol and the heart.
A better idea: Instead of devouring these fat-filled ice cream sandwiches, why don’t you whip up your own homemade recipe? Pick out a healthy low-fat ice cream, and use low-fat cookies, such as nut or oatmeal varieties.
6. Worst: Fried Dough
It’s hard to imagine all the summertime garden parties, festivals, carnivals and fairs without those fat-rich treats made with fried dough, however, we must understand that the nutritional density of these treats is toxically dangerous for the body. Fried dough is undoubtedly one of the fattiest foods that will not only mess with your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, but it will also induce obesity.
Butter, sugar, deep-fried flour and shortenings are food items that we must limit to no more than once or twice every year. You see, it is essential to remind ourselves that battered and fried recipes contain the most horrid damaging sources of trans fat. And since trans fat tends to be incredibly delicious, we end up eating too much and suffer with raised cholesterol levels.
Research reveals that trans fat increases our bad or LDL cholesterol levels, reduces the good or HDL cholesterol levels, and promotes speedy inflammation throughout the body. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your daily diet doesn’t contain a single trace of fried dough.
7. Worst: Macaroni & Potato Salad
Mac & Cheese blended with a cold potato salad is everyone’s favourite summer treat, however, the amount of fattening cheese and mayonnaise that takes to create such salads makes this recipe incredibly unhealthy for the heart. You can always enjoy the same treat by replacing your regular fattening mayonnaise with low-fat mayo, and olive oil to brim your recipe with unsaturated fats that are immensely healthy for the heart.
You can also create pasta salads with lean meats, and sea food, or a colourful veggie and potato salad that is loaded with fibers to satiate your hunger and fill you up. Rich and creamy potato salads made with low-fat mayo, low-fat cream and sharp cheddar cheese contain no more than 300 calories per serving, and they are much healthier, as long as you devour mindful portions.
8. Worst: Ribs
Ribs, regardless of their shape or size, are not a healthy meal for summer for they are packed with unhealthy fats and calories. What makes them even unhealthier is the way we devour them, slathered with heaps of calorie-rich barbecue sauce.
A quarter pound portion or pork ribs or beef ribs contains heaps of saturated fat, which is unhealthy for the heart and cholesterol levels, along with 288 calories. If you must eat ribs, avoid eating them at restaurants and fix your own recipe at home.
We strongly advise you to eliminate the sauces, and marinate your ribs with low-calorie spices, such as chili powder, mustard and garlic. These natural spices with enrich the flavour without adding any calories whatsoever. Before you grill or cook it, be sure to cut it into mindfully small portion sizes, and trim away all the visible fat for a healthy meal.
9. Worst: Lobster Rolls
If you believe that a mayonnaise-rich lobster roll is a much healthier replacement for hamburgers and hot dogs, you really need to take a look at the ingredients that are used to make these seafood delicacies. Lobster rolls are made with a great deal of high-calorie mayonnaise, then the lobsters are placed inside heavily buttered white breads, creating a fat-rich sandwich that will brim you up with an unhealthy amount of 400 calories, most of which are coming from unhealthy fats.
A better idea: Instead of devouring these fast food lobster rolls, why don’t you create your own homemade recipe? Pick out low-fat mayonnaise, whole-wheat bread and discard the use of butter entirely. You can also add healthy homemade dressings, and veggies for a satiating crunch.
10. Best: Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimps are packed with protein, and they energize your body without loading up the calories. Research reveals that this power-rich seaside treat enriches the body with around 14% of your daily dosage requirement of iron.
You can devour it as an appetizer, an energizing yet low-calorie lunch, or even an after-lunch snack to drive away the exhaustion. The best part is, a 3.5 ounce serving of shrimp cocktail contains less than 100 calories.
So, feel free to devour them whichever way you like, be it soups, salads, pastas, or even a grilled shrimp meal with basil oil, orange and lime juice.
11. Best: Watermelon
Watermelon is the richest and healthiest fruit that nature has to offer to give you a burst of natural sugars, hydrate your body, and replace the exhaustion with revitalised energy after a tiring day at work.
Research reveals that watermelon contains 99% water, and a one cup serving will give your body no more than 44 calories. This delicious summery fruit is also one of the most incredibly rich source of lycopene, which aids the body in preventing and eliminating the symptoms of cancer. Watermelon packs even more lycopene than raw tomatoes, and it is the best food you can devour for weight loss.
12. Best: Fruit Salads
Countless studies have validated the claim that individuals who eat two or more servings of fruits every day tend to weigh much lesser than the individuals who eat no fruits whatsoever. Summer is the perfect season to pack your diet with succulently juicy berries and stone fruits.
We strongly advise you to pick out organic fruits from your nearest farmer’s market. In order to brim up your diet with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, pick out plenty of purple, red and blue berries, along with apples as they will satiate your appetite and eliminate those unwanted pangs of hunger.
You can devour your fruits in salads, salsa recipes, juices, smoothies and countless other recipes that contain very few traces of calories.
13. Best: Zucchini
Zucchini is one of the healthiest and nutrient-packed recipes that Mother Nature has to offer humankind. Research reveals that along with being devoid of a single trace of cholesterol and unhealthy fats, it brims up the body with powerful doses of vitamin C.
It is the best vegetable to enjoy in summers, you can add it to salads, eat it as a raw snack, grilled, diced into sandwiches or burgers, and you can even bake delicious cheese-smeared zucchini fries. One cup of raw zucchini packs up no more than 20 calories, and provides the body a whopping 35% of its daily dosage requirement of vitamin C.
14. Best: Corn on the Cob
As long as you don’t butter it or add any kind of salts, corn on the cob is a very healthy low-calorie snack that will brim you up with fiber and energy.
Just be sure not to add too much butter, and you can always shave some corn off the cob and add them to your pizzas, salads, pastas, salsa dishes, grilled meats, soups and countless other appetizers and casseroles.
We strongly recommend you to pick out the yellow corn varieties as they tend to pack up far more vitamin A as opposed to the white ones.
15. Best: Iced Tea
Tea is brimming with a wide variety of powerful antioxidants, and since it doesn’t contain a single trace of calories, it promotes and speeds up the process of weight loss. However, if you want to brim your body with its entire nutrition density and experience effective weight loss results, you must make your tea fresh instead of picking out bottled iced tea varieties.
Regardless of whether you drink it green or black, iced tea is always just as effective as hot tea, and in summer, your body will thank you for quenching its thirst with an iced cup of tea.
16. Best: Grilled Chicken Kabobs
It’s hard to imagine summers without those BBQ garden parties, and if you absolutely must indulge in your love for grilling, we recommend you to try the grilled chicken kabobs. These succulently flavourful delights are very low in fats, carbs and calories, much lesser than beef, and they are loaded with heaps of energizing protein.
We strongly implore you to fill up the skewer with summery veggies, such as bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and squash, to load up your meal with heaps of antioxidants and vitamins. Veggies will also enhance the flavour of the kabobs.
Red bell peppers are a must-have to enhance both, the nutrient density and the flavour, as these delights are packed with vitamin C and when grilled, they become saucy and sweet. A ½ cup of red bell peppers contains no more than 14 calories.
Here’s another tip to load up the nutrients and take your senses to taste heaven, just marinate the chicken skewers with yogurt sauces, and it will work wonders on the taste.
17. Best: Gazpacho
It’s really hard to stand in the humid kitchen during the scorching hot months of summer and create a steaming hot recipe of soup. However, when you can always prepare chilled soups, there is no reason for you to do through the ordeal of cooking. All it takes is a bowl and you can prepare your dish in minutes.
Gazpacho is brimming with nutrient-rich ingredients, such as cucumbers, bell peppers and tomatoes, which create a low-calorie soup with a rich and succulent flavour. One generously filled cup of Gazpacho contains no more than 88 calories, zero traces of cholesterol and 4 whopping grams of healthy fats.