Summer can be a difficult time to stick to a heart-healthy diet, from BBQs with the family, beer by the pool, and rich desserts on the buffet. It’s also the best possible time to reorganize your diet and create a heart-healthy food menu that satisfies your taste buds and your need to cut cholesterol.
Barbecuing with the Family
Burger and hot dogs on the grill are among the icons of summer. Hardly a weekend goes by without the smell of grilling meats wafting through the neighborhood. Although doctors frown upon a steady diet of fatty meats for heart patients, there are ways to enjoy an afternoon BBQ without skimping on portions or health.
Heart-Healthy Food Alternatives:
- Mix ground green bell pepper and onion with lean beef for a healthier, tasty burger
- Pork and beef move over, there’s room on that grill for some succulent salmon steaks, too
- Soak corn on the cob and throw it on the grill husk and all for grilled corn
- Swap out heavy mayonnaise and butter with avocado spread for a delicious condiment
- Load up on fresh veggies, and skip the cakes and creams for fresh fruits at the dessert table
Take Advantage of Summer’s Bounty
Summer is the best time to develop a new menu, stocked with fresh produce and leafy greens. Get creative with your cooking and consider adding roasted fresh-picked vegetables to your meals. Simply spray tin foil with olive oil, wrap cubed vegetables, and bake.
Fruit smoothies, made with low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit, are an excellent heart-healthy food choice for breakfast! Add some low-fat cereal with skim milk or an egg for a filling meal that will carry you through to lunch.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Although alcohol should be taken sparingly for optimum heart health, it’s important to imbibe plenty of fluids. Keep water in the ‘fridge, and add a slice of lemon, cucumber, or other fruit to infuse your beverage with a bit of flavor. Keeping well topped with cool water is the best way to feel full and fit this summer.