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Celebrate Grilling Season with Healthy Substitutions

It’s that time of year – time to break out the barbecue and invite your friends and neighbors over for a cookout. Spring and summer are prime time for great food, good friends – and great food to celebrate the warm weather.

Of course, we all know that with summer on the horizon, bathing suit season is just around the corner. Don’t undo all of the hard work you’ve done at the gym this year.  To keep your diet balanced, celebrity nutritionist Carl Germano, RD, CDN, shared five simple swaps to keep you eating great tasting foods – and looking and feeling great.

Instead of: Beef Burger or Sliders with Cheese

Try: Turkey Sliders with sliced tomato

Ground turkey breast is leaner than most types of ground beef and sliced tomato will offer a powerful punch of lycopene – without the saturated fat in most cheeses. If you must have cheese, try a sprinkling of feta, which is lower in fat and calories than most varieties.

Instead of: Franks on the Grill

Try: Chicken Teriyaki Skewers

Chicken is leaner and often packs more protein than hot dogs, which are also often processed and laced with unhealthy chemicals. If you’re going to indulge in a hot dog, look for a variety that boasts 100% beef.

Instead of: Regular Pizza

Try: Whole Wheat Margarita Pizza

Grilled pizza can be unique and delicious – but it’s even better if you use homemade whole wheat crust and a modest amount of cheese. Margherita pizza often has less cheese than the average type and plenty of fresh tomato and basil.

Instead of: Chips, Cookies & Brownies Platter

Try: Air Popped Popcorn, Oat Pretzels, Fresh Fruit.

If your sweet tooth calls, answer it with fresh fruit. If you’re craving something crunchy, opt for lower-calorie popcorn (hold the butter) or pretzels that list whole wheat, spelt or oat as one of the first two ingredients.

Instead of:  Beer, Soda, Juice

Try: Flavored Seltzer and Water

While the occasional beer or soda won’t hurt you, summer heat can cause excessive thirst. Rehydrate with a beverage that has no alcohol or caffeine to keep your energy and inhibitions high.

May 5th, 2011

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