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Throw a Heart-Healthy 4th of July BBQ

Throw a Heart-Healthy 4th of July BBQ

Posted by Stethoscope.com on Jul 1st 2021

Independence Day is a highly anticipated holiday that marks the peak of summer. Delving into your favorite foods in the great outdoors is an experience like none other, yet we often use this time to feast on delicacies that can increase our risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Food that doesn't disrupt your heart health can still be decadent, and indulging in healthy meals for the Fourth of July will eliminate having to get "back on track" once the holiday is over.

A few simple tweaks to your menu will ensure that your backyard BBQ is heart-healthy this year and leave you and your guests feeling energetic and rejuvenated. Remember, for every yummy Fourth of July favorite there's a healthy alternative that can be found by exploring the many fresh food options that are waiting to be discovered.

Ditch Your Deep Fryer

Instead of crafting a menu that's full of fried foods, opt to use your grill instead. Grilling locks in your food's natural vitamins and moisture because the cooking time is shortened. It's also a great way to lower your calories and fat intake because fat drips from food as it cooks. Using healthy oils such as avocado and olive instead of canola and vegetable oil along with leaner meats will help you to keep your meals low fat.

Pick Healthier Proteins

The hamburger and hotdog are staples of the Fourth of July backyard bonanza, but red meat is usually the meat of choice. If you still want the traditional hamburger experience, try substituting red meat for ground turkey, ground chicken, or even salmon. Air-fried sweet potato chips can also help to curb your need for greasy potato chips or french fries.

When it comes to seasonings and marinades, stay away from pre-bottled and pre-mixed choices as much as possible. Fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables such as onions, chives, garlic, lemon juice, mango, and salt-free seasonings bring out the flavor in grilled food beautifully and will keep your meal heart-healthy. Once you're ready to eat, you'll want to monitor the amount of condiments you use or try making your own homemade healthy ketchup and mustard.

Unleash Your Creativity

Sticking to a heart-healthy diet on the Fourth of July is still possible, and putting together a creative and colorful spread will delight your guests and provide an opportunity for you to unleash your creativity. Vegetable skewers, chicken kebabs, raw veggies with greek yogurt dip, whole wheat chips, or watermelon salad are all mouth-watering munchies that will make your menu a hit.

For dessert, try doing a red, white & blue salad with strawberries, blueberries, and reduced-sodium feta. Grilled peaches or flax and almond flour carob cookies with almond milk ice cream are also healthy yet tasty choices.

Your Setup May Help You Eat Less

Once you've achieved a decadently healthy menu, think about your setup and decor. A few tips and tricks to consider are using smaller plates and cups, serving vegetables and fruits first, and even using neutral-colored serving dishes. Make sure that all of your supporting items such as buns, condiments, snacks, and drinks are healthy as well.

For example, using whole wheat buns will add much-needed fiber to meals, and adding whole grains to a heart-healthy diet, in general, can reduce the risk of heart disease by about 30 percent. Staying heart-healthy on the Fourth of July can still be satisfying and those who do never regret choosing to feast on a healthy meal. Independence Day is a highly anticipated holiday that marks the peak of summer. Delving into your favorite foods in the great outdoors is an experience like none other, yet we often use this time to feast on delicacies that can increase our risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Food that doesn't disrupt your heart health can still be decadent, and indulging in healthy meals for the Fourth of July will eliminate having to get "back on track" once the holiday is over.

A few simple tweaks to your menu will ensure that your backyard BBQ is heart-healthy this year and leave you and your guests feeling energetic and rejuvenated. Remember, for every yummy Fourth of July favorite there's a healthy alternative that can be found by exploring the many fresh food options that are waiting to be discovered.

Ditch Your Deep Fryer

Instead of crafting a menu that's full of fried foods, opt to use your grill instead. Grilling locks in your food's natural vitamins and moisture because the cooking time is shortened. It's also a great way to lower your calories and fat intake because fat drips from food as it cooks. Using healthy oils such as avocado and olive instead of canola and vegetable oil along with leaner meats will help you to keep your meals low fat.

Pick Healthier Proteins

The hamburger and hotdog are staples of the Fourth of July backyard bonanza, but red meat is usually the meat of choice. If you still want the traditional hamburger experience, try substituting red meat for ground turkey, ground chicken, or even salmon. Air-fried sweet potato chips can also help to curb your need for greasy potato chips or french fries.

When it comes to seasonings and marinades, stay away from pre-bottled and pre-mixed choices as much as possible. Fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables such as onions, chives, garlic, lemon juice, mango, and salt-free seasonings bring out the flavor in grilled food beautifully and will keep your meal heart-healthy. Once you're ready to eat, you'll want to monitor the amount of condiments you use or try making your own homemade healthy ketchup and mustard.

Unleash Your Creativity

Sticking to a heart-healthy diet on the Fourth of July is still possible, and putting together a creative and colorful spread will delight your guests and provide an opportunity for you to unleash your creativity. Vegetable skewers, chicken kebabs, raw veggies with greek yogurt dip, whole wheat chips, or watermelon salad are all mouth-watering munchies that will make your menu a hit.

For dessert, try doing a red, white & blue salad with strawberries, blueberries, and reduced-sodium feta. Grilled peaches or flax and almond flour carob cookies with almond milk ice cream are also healthy yet tasty choices.

Your Setup May Help You Eat Less

Once you've achieved a decadently healthy menu, think about your setup and decor. A few tips and tricks to consider are using smaller plates and cups, serving vegetables and fruits first, and even using neutral-colored serving dishes. Make sure that all of your supporting items such as buns, condiments, snacks, and drinks are healthy as well.

For example, using whole wheat buns will add much-needed fiber to meals, and adding whole grains to a heart-healthy diet, in general, can reduce the risk of heart disease by about 30 percent. Staying heart-healthy on the Fourth of July can still be satisfying and those who do never regret choosing to feast on a healthy meal.