Many of us make major diet changes in the wake of health-related news from our doctors like diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. While the intent is good, most of us struggle to keep up with diets because we make too many changes at once or choose changes that are too hard to make.
Making changes to combat preexisting conditions (or prevent future disease) is easier when you make simple, everyday swaps to the foods you already eat.
With summer in full swing, you’re probably wondering how to make that backyard barbeque healthier. The good news is your cookout doesn’t have to be loaded with fat and sugar.
It’s possible to make some simple swaps and have a meal that’s healthy and delicious, a nutrition expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says.
“If you’re not ready to replace your entire plate with healthy alternatives, you can still cut down on added sugar and fats by blending your favorites with some healthier options,” Lona Sandon, an associate professor in the clinical nutrition department, said in a school news release.
Sandon offers some other tips for making your favorites a little healthier:
1. Build-your-own taco salad bowl
Sandon suggests including a build-your-own taco salad bowl with plenty of mixed greens, baby spinach and arugula. You can also offer a mix of toppings, including drained and rinsed canned black beans, diced avocado, black olives, fresh pico de gallo and reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Use corn tortillas instead of a fried shell, Sandon advises. Offer lettuce leaves, dill pickles, sliced onion, tomato and avocado as toppings.
2. Choose low-fat lean beef and chicken
For the grill, choose low-fat lean ground beef (90 percent or higher) and chicken breasts.
3. Fill up on veggies and fruit
Fill half of your plate with vegetables or fruit, such as mixed berries or fresh-cut watermelon, a treat on a hot day.
Take the skin off chicken wings, and bake or grill them instead of deep-frying. Consider grilling chicken pieces instead of traditional wings. Use low-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for dipping, along with your favorite hot sauce.
Use vinegar-based sauces that are lower in added sugars. Lean meat cuts are another healthy grill option. These include