A Healthy Fourth of July

Fireworks, red, white and blue decorations, and of course, outdoor barbeques. The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated American holidays, and people from all over the country travel to meet loved ones during this summer holiday.

Hot dogs and hamburgers are essential at any barbeque, but there is always a guilt-free option to these unhealthy food choices! As the vegetarian diet is becoming far more popular in the mainstream, try substituting beef with a veggie burger option. The veggie burger will help reduce the saturated fat and your arteries will thank you later! If the no-meat option just isn’t for you, how about skipping out on some of the carbs? Instead of refined white bread buns, try going bun-less and topping the burger off with an assortment of vegetables like, lettuce and ripened avocado.

As you and your loved ones give a toast to the founding fathers, it is crucial to keep an eye on the beverages you consume as well! Fruit juices can be loaded with added sugars, so if the party must serve juices, be sure to grab the 100% fresh squeezed options at the grocery store. Fruit infused water is another way to avoid sugary juices. Adding a couple of sliced cucumbers, lemons, and even pieces of mint are a fun, healthy spin that also helps the digestive system. Sugar packed sodas can be replaced with bottles of seltzer water, a much healthier decision with the same amount of fizziness! Lastly, don’t forget to swap the iced teas for unsweetened tea. If you need a bit of sweetness, try adding raw honey to the tea for a healthy yet sugary boost!

The American Heart Association recommends that adults eat eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. Instead of the brownies and American flag cakes that lay on the dessert table, opt for a fruit cup after your meal. The high fiber content, vitamins, and minerals are the perfect bonus to a healthy diet that also ends your meal with a sweet finish.

Holiday seasons don’t always have to mean endless indulging and unhealthy lifestyles. Eating in moderation and doing your best to substitute the clearly hazardous food options for healthier ones are sure ways to keep your fourth of July guilt-free.

Learn more about how to have a healthy July 4th! Visit https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart for more information on healthy food and beverage choices.

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