During the summer months, it’s second nature to reach for the so-called “lighter” food options such as salads, cold soups, frozen drinks and fresh fruit. When the mercury climbs, these chilled foods and cold beverages taste like the perfect contrast. But these “light and fresh” options don’t always translate to being light in calories.
Be especially aware of the siren call of the large entrée salad. Many of these salads can weigh in close to 1,000 calories once you factor in the cheese, fried meat or seafood, croutons, bacon bits and salad dressing – that’s close to the number of calories in a burger and fries! Instead, choose salads made with a variety of fresh, raw vegetables, which are low in calories and a good source of fiber, to keep you feeling full. Consider adding a protein boost with three to four ounces of lean grilled chicken or steak, steamed shrimp, seared tuna, deli-sliced roast beef, turkey or ham or a boiled egg. Accessorize your salad further with a few nuts or small amount of grated Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese.
Other ways to lighten up this summer:
- Eat nutrient-rich produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, field peas, peaches, basil, and all kinds of berries. Thevitamin C in produce is essential for building collagen for healthy skin.
- Choose non-creamy fruit- and vegetable-based soups, such as gazpacho.
- Pick fresh fruit sorbets or frozen desserts made with low fat or fat free milk instead of full-fat ice cream with crushed candies and whipped topping.