Summer is the season for backyard barbecues, vacations and outdoor parties. At these festive events, it can be tempting to reach for potato chips and dip, creamy potato salad, pie and other treats. Kayla Fisher, a registered dietitian at UF Health Jacksonville, offers tips on how to stay on the right track and make healthy choices at your next summer outing:
1. Drink before you eat
Drink water to stay hydrated and help curb your appetite. Thirst can be mistaken for hunger so try to have a glass of water before a meal to avoid overeating. Aim to drink at least 64 ounces or half your body weight in ounces every day.
2. Go for the grill
Choose food that is prepared on the grill because it can be lower in fat content and calories especially compared to other cooking methods like frying. Healthy choices include grilled chicken, fish, shrimp, and vegetables because these contain sufficient amounts of protein and vitamins. If the only grilled options available are red meat, choose a leaner cut like those with “round,” “loin” or “sirloin” in the name.
3. Watch out for hidden calories
Avoid meats cooked in heavy sauces, mayonnaise-based salads and cheesy casseroles as these dishes tend to be higher in fat content and calories. Look for the options with vinaigrette-based dressings or non-creamy sauces.
4. Bring a healthy dish to share
Make a dish that you enjoy and know is nutritious. That way you have at least one dish to fill up on and feel good about. Check out the salad recipe featured above for inspiration, or head here for more options.
5. Think “Plate Method”
Keep your plate balanced. Fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies, one-fourth with lean protein, and the last one-fourth with a complex carbohydrate. If you have room for dessert, choose fruit! An easy, nourishing dessert recipe is below.
To discuss your overall health, schedule an appointment at one of UF Health Jacksonville’s primary care centers by calling 904-633-0411 or visit UFHealthJax.org/primary-care.