It’s almost officially summertime, and that means there are a lot of BBQs and other potentially unhealthy food choices being thrown at you. It’s not easy to avoid all the temptations! (I love BBQ’d ribs slathered with a sugary sauce. And don’t get me started on ice cream!)
So, with that in mind, here are some tips for healthy summer eating, according to womenshealth.gov:
- Work more veggies into your diet. The next time you’re making fish, meat, or chicken, sauté some peppers, onion, garlic, and tomatoes to serve as the topping. You’ll be eating a more flavorful, healthy meal!
- Avoid overdoing it at summer BBQs. Make sure to eat the healthy stuff first. Fill up on fruits, vegetables, and green salads. Then once you’ve eaten, move! You’ll burn calories when you play with the kids or get everyone together for a game of volleyball, Frisbee, basketball, or tag.
- Cook at home. There are a lot of benefits to eating at home. Not only will you save money, but you’ll know exactly what goes into your meal. Plus, cooking at home is generally healthier.
- Don’t forget the fruit! Summer is the perfect time for fresh fruit. So add fresh berries to your morning cereal or oatmeal. Eat watermelon or cherries for dessert instead of cookies or ice cream.
- Get the most out of your salad. Not all salads are healthy, especially at a restaurant. Salads loaded with dressing, cheese, and fried chicken are also loaded with calories and fat. But healthy salads don’t have to be boring. Pick the ones with a lot of different vegetables for more disease-fighting nutrients. Top it off with a lean protein like grilled chicken, fish, or beans.
Speaking of eating healthier, according to a recent Nielsen survey, 66% of U.S. respondents said they’re eating healthier now than they were two years ago, and 64% are trying to buy healthier foods.
A total of 63%, however, say eating right is a challenge, according to Nielsen. For many consumers, particularly those with “on-the-go” lifestyles, prepackaged salads are a great solution in that they’re a healthy food choice that’s convenient and fast.
While grocers continue to see some sales gains – 1% compared with the previous 52 weeks – from the sale of bulk lettuce, packaged salad kits accounted for $3.7 billion in sales in the 52 weeks ended April 2, 2016, an increase of 8% from the previous year.
Within the product category, complete salad kits are growing the most, generating $950 million in sales in the last year, up a whopping 31% from the previous year. Prepackaged organic salads are growing faster than the average, with a 12% increase in dollar sales over the previous year, according to Nielsen.
So this summer, enjoy yourself – but have a nice, healthy salad every so often!
Have a great day!