Heart-healthy Twists on Fourth of July Favorites
You can have fun while protecting your heart on the biggest barbeque day of the year.
Many classic picnic and grilled foods are on the "naughty" list. Full of cholesterol, salt and sugar, the delicious fare of the Fourth is hard to resist. What's a heart conscious eater to do?
Instead of potato salad or chips and dip… pig out on disease-fighting fruit and veggies to satisfy your appetite Onions, mushrooms, zucchini and pineapple grill up beautifully while providing nutrients, fiber and the hydration you need on a hot day. Make your own potato salad using reduced fat mayo.
Instead of potato chips and sour cream dip… choose baked sweet potato or pita chips, preferably with light salt. Mix Greek yogurt with mint or spices to provide flavor without the trans fats. Guacamole and hummus are always a big hit and pack a nutrient punch.
Instead of store-bought apple pie… make your own at home without lard in the crust and with a big emphasis on the fruit filling. Is strawberry shortcake your thing? Whip up your own low-fat cream and keep the sugar content low. Strawberries are sweet enough on their own.
Instead of beef products… give turkey or veggie dogs and burgers a chance. They grill up well and lack the high quantity of fat that coats your arteries from beef. If you can't give up the red meat, choose low fat options by bringing your own to throw on the grill.
Instead of sweet tea or lemonade… enjoy pure fruit juice or add a lemon to unsweetened tea. Freeze juice in cubes and add it to tea or seltzer. Blend up smoothies for everyone. Liquid calories and harmful ingredients can wreak havoc on your arteries. Instead of beer, try ginger ale or root beer.
Share your heart healthy attitude by bringing your favorite heart-conscious dishes to your summer parties. The Central Florida Cardiac and Vascular Institute can answer your questions about healthy diet and nutrition. Call our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206.