Smart Food Choices for Summer
Ahhh, it is summer: barbecues, cocktails at pool, baseball games, and lots of the fried chicken, ribs, potato salad, ice cream, hot dogs, and beer. The living might be easy, but you need to know about 9 Most Fattening Foods Of Summer and better choices at the backyard barbecue or beach boardwalk.
High-Fat Meats on Barbecue
The bad news: barbecue can damage the waistline. A 20 ounce T-bone steak can weigh in at 1,540 calories and 124 g fat. An average cheese burger has 750 calories and 45 grams of fat. What about pork or beef ribs. They come from the fattiest part of an animal. The good news: You can go lean with cuts like pork tenderloin, skinless chicken breast, and lean ground beef.
Take Me Out to Ball Game
Hot dogs and sausages are summer treats for many of us, but you may save them for baseball games. It is not just about fat or calories — after all, you can choose the low-fat versions. Most hot dogs, bratwurst, and other sausages are very high in the sodium. Typical nutrition scores include:
Hot dog: 280 calories, 15 g fat, 1,250 mg of sodium
Kielbasa (6-oz): 330 calories, 24 g fat, 1,590 mg sodium
A small ½ -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, try making the salads with the light mayonnaise; or mix mayo with the low-fat yogurt, light sour cream, or chicken stock. Or why not try the German-style potato salad, using more vinegar than oil. Then toss lots of veggies into any salad to increase the fiber and nutrients.
Sweet, fruity alcoholic drinks the kind frequently served with an umbrella might go down easy, but the calories add up in a hurry. A piña colada can range from 245 to 490 calories, a daiquiri from 300 to 800 calories, and a Long Island iced tea can set you back 520 calories or more with much of it from sugar. Instead of high calorie drinks, try wine, a wine spritzer, or a mixed drink with the seltzer and a splash of 100% fruit juice.
Satisfying Thirst Quenchers
Staying hydrated is an essential in summer, but those cold drinks can cause havoc with your waistline. Be careful what you choose — if you’re drinking 12-ounce containers of sweet tea, sweetened soda, energy drinks, juice drinks, or beer, you’re probably taking in about 150 calories a pop. Smoothies, milkshakes, and cold coffee concoctions can go much higher. Try water or light versions of your favorite thirst quenchers.
Refreshing the Frozen Treats
A cup of soft-serve ice cream can have the 380 calories and 22 grams of fat. Make it the chocolate cookie dough milkshake concoction, and the calories soar to 720, with 28 grams of fat. You do not need to give up frozen treats, just pass on huge portions or high fat toppings. Look for frozen desserts like sherbet, fudge bars, fruit bars, or other treats under 150 calories per serving or fruit desserts like the strawberry shortcake.
Frighteningly Fattening Fair Food
Fairs and boardwalks serve up plenty of deep-fried diet disasters. From the fried cheesecake around 500 calories, fried macaroni and cheese roughly 610 calories to enormous turkey legs about 1,136 calories and 54 grams of fat, most eat-as-you-walk foods are the calorie overload. Skip the fried foods and instead choose the cotton candy, caramel apples, or a simple grilled meat or share your treat with a friend.
Salads can be the perfect summer dinner: light, refreshing bowls of veggies and lean protein. But high calorie toppers can push the salad from lean to fattening in a hurry. Fried chicken strips, bacon, cheese, creamy dressings, and croutons are among worst offenders. Instead, top your greens with grilled chicken, strips of lean meat, or eggs, then pile on veggies and sprinkle with the light dressing.
Mindless Munching on Snacks
A handful of any snack would not do much harm, but too much can damage the diet. One ounce of potato chips or cheese puffs is roughly 160 calories and 10 grams of fat. Cheese nachos can contain the 692 calories and 38 grams fat. And a 10 cup box of movie theater popcorn can have 550 calories and 31 grams fat. Try snacking on fruits, veggies with the light dip, or small portions of fat-free popcorn.
Finger Licking Fried Chicken
A bucket of the fried chicken is an easy way to feed a crowd, but it can wreak havoc on the waistline and arteries. So forgo fried chicken and toss boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the grill, instead. Marinades and spice rubs add flavor to these quick-cooking cuts of poultry. The nutritional differences are striking.
Skinless chicken breast (3.5 oz): 167 calories, 7 g fat
Breaded, fried chicken breast: 360 calories, 21 g fat