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Have a Happy, Healthy Fourth!

Are you getting enough fruit each day? Men should have 2 cups/day and women should have 1.5-2 cups/day. Make half your plate fruits and veggies!

Do you love barbeque? Although the healthy options are usually limited at your favorite barbeque joint, you can keep it under control by finding a good balance. Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Colleen Loveland, MS, RDN, LD, CDE, offers some healthy tips to enjoy the barbeque season.

Barbeque Restaurants
Barbeque isn’t known for being healthy, but there are healthier options out there. When choosing meat, try smoked barbeque turkey. This choice has 6 g of saturated fat versus 13 g in brisket. Turkey is a great option to get the smokey flavor without the calories and fat. Instead of ribs, which has 15 g of saturated fat, try a pulled pork sandwich. This only has 8 g of saturated fat. If you can, split your meal with a friend. Not only should you make the leaner meat choice but beware of the side items. Creamed corn, macaroni and cheese, breaded okra and potato salad will easily contain 20 g of saturated fat. The best solution is to opt for steamed vegetables or a salad with the dressing or sauce on the side. Remember to drizzle your dressing and not drench.

Barbeque at Home
To avoid restaurants’ less healthy options, throw a healthier barbeque bash at home. Having options and using your imagination can create many healthy choices. Switch from burgers and brats to kebabs. Use lean meat, chicken, tofu or fish but in smaller portions. Try alternating meat with a variety of vegetables like cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini and yellow squash. Add fruit to the mix by adding pineapple and apple slices. For the juicy taste and texture, find a reduced-calorie marinade or brush a little olive oil on your favorite meat or vegetables.

Side Dishes

Cooper Clinic recommends filling half of your plate with vegetables, which happen to taste great when grilled. Throw a corn on the cob on the grill for a side dish. Did you know it’s a whole grain? Instead of a baked potato with the unhealthy fillings, try boiling new potatoes seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Try this recipe for a healthier version of a barbeque favorite, coleslaw.

Sauces
When it comes to barbeque sauce, always choose them on the side to help limit sodium, fat and calories. By drizzling small amounts, you are in control of how much goes on your dish. Also try dipping your fork in the sauce first and then pick up your food. You will use a third of what you would normally pour. Always limit cream-, butter-or cheese-based sauces.

Now, let’s get to grilling! Meridan Zerner, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, shares the healthiest ways to grill your favorite meats and vegetables this summer.

View recipes from Cooper Clinic dietitians to make your Fourth of July celebration a healthy one.

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services or to schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian, click here or call 972.560.2655.

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