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Five Healthy Franks for National Hot Dog Day

Hot dogs might not measure up to most gourmet fare, but they are a big part of some of America’s favorite pastimes. National Hot Dog Day falls on July 23, which is conveniently right in the middle of baseball and summer grilling season.

While you often hear that hot dogs are nutritionally unsavory, there are a lot of lighter options out there for anyone who wants keep things on the healthier side.

Whether you’re buying beef, pork, turkey, chicken or veggie hot dogs, you should always pay attention to whether or not the hot dog has added nitrites or nitrates. Once digested, nitrites and nitrates can form compounds that have been known to cause cancer.  To make your hot dog meal healthier, you can serve it topped with fiber-rich sauerkraut, in a whole-wheat bun or alongside a full plate of brightly-colored fruits and vegetables.

However, if you want to avoid the nutritional trap of hot dogs entirely, you can look to five of our favorite healthier hot dogs to satisfy your cravings without an added helping of guilt.


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Healthy Main Dishes for Picnics and Parties

Summer is in full swing and many of us have the sunburn and mosquito bites to prove it. If you’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors then odds are, you’ve attended a picnic, backyard party or cook out under the sun and are beginning to tire of hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken.

Next time you’re planning the menu, look for inventive new dishes that will kick off your party on the right note. Whether you’re in the mood for light lunch fare like salads or sandwiches, something hot off the grill or a stick-t0-your ribs meal that will stand up to the heat, you don’t need to ditch your diet to have fun this summer.

Salads & Sandwiches:

Arroz con Pollo Salad: Chicken and rice sounds like a heavy meal but not when you put it into a refreshing salad form. If you’re entertaining in your back yard this is a great option for anyone who wants to indulge without the guilt.


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3 Easy Ways to Boost Your BBQ’s Nutrition

When you’re manning the grill during a backyard barbecue, it’s still important to keep your healthy diet in the forefront of your mind.

We chatted with David Venable, host of QVC’s In the Kitchen with David, about how to slim down and add more nutrition to your meals when you’re grilling this summer.

Choose Turkey:

If you eat burgers frequently during the summertime, choose turkey once in a while. Turkey has a wonderful flavor and less fat than most beef burgers.

“There are two kinds of ground turkey you can buy,” said Venable. “One is all turkey breast meat and the other is a blend of white and dark turkey meat. If you want to go very lean, choose all white meat.”


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Healthier Burger Alternatives for Your 4th of July Cookout

Fourth of July is here and burgers sizzling on a hot grill is practically the American dream, but with so many people watching their weight, the typical high-fat beef burger is no longer the best barbecue option.

Not only are typical burgers high in saturated fat and calories, but the toppings people use to dress them, like bacon and cheese, can be calorie bombs themselves. With seafood, chicken and vegetables offering a lower-fat and calorie option, there is no shortage of grill fare to choose from when it’s time to plan your next party.

The book Burger Parties by James McNair and Jeffrey Starr (Ten Speed Press) offers a variety of party menus centered around burger recipes, including beef alternatives like chicken burgers with jicama slaw an swordfish burgers with tangy apple tartar sauce.

This year, when you’re grilling to celebrate your favorite patriotic holiday, opt for something lighter than the traditional burger. Look to different protein options, such as chicken, fish, turkey and tofu to fill your menu.


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Easy Family Meals for Game Nights

We’ve all been there: Kid #1 has a soccer game in one part of the town, kid #2 has a lacrosse match two cities over at the same time, and somehow, you’ve got to get everyone fed a quick, nutritious meal to fuel them right.

Sure, you could hit a fast food drive thru – if you want a meal full of fat, calories and goodness knows what else. It’s a great idea to have a few tried and true meals that are easy on the wallet and high in both taste and nutrition in your rotation.

Here are some of our favorites here at DietsInReview:

  • Brandi Koskie, Director of Publishing, loves to make a Pulled Pork BBQ. Place a pork tenderloin – one of the best cuts of pork, as it’s low in fat – in a crock pot for several hours. When it’s finished cooking, shred it, mix in some BBQ sauce and serve on a whole wheat bun. Served with cut up veggies and fruit, this is a meal that can be on the table literally in minutes.


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