Fourth of July is this weekend! For many of us, that means it is time to barbeque-but that doesn’t mean just burgers and hot dogs. There are still opportunities to be healthy and have a good filling meal. Consider grilling some fish, including the healthier options of trout, salmon, and herring. Fish have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are very heart-healthy. Another idea is to cook chicken breasts that are skinless. This will have less fat and calories compared to red meat. Turkey or chicken burgers can be a tasty alternative to regular hamburgers and can be seasoned in a similar way. If going the traditional route of beef, try to stick to “grade” or “choice” cuts of meat vs. prime, and choose the leanest options. When prepping food to be grilled, try and limit the salt during the cooking, and use an alternative way to season food, such as fresh onions, garlic, or low-salt seasoning mixes. For the burger or hot dog buns, try and use whole-grain, high-fiber choices such as whole wheat.

In addition to the meat, don’t forget to add grilled vegetables to your meal. A variety of vegetables can be cooked on the grill, including zucchini, asparagus, and peppers. You can even make a grilled salad! (See this link for instructions and recipes: http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/grilled-salads) Instead of potato chips that are high in trans and saturated fats, opt for fresh cut vegetables that can dipped in hummus or low-fat ranch-based dip. Fruit can also be grilled, such as pineapple, peaches, plumbs, nectarines, etc. Grilling fruit allows a caramelized glaze to form and is very delicious. Don’t forget-most grocery stores have conveniently packaged veggie and fruit trays that do all the prep work for you and are great to bring to any gathering, especially those with kids.

Eating healthy doesn’t require a whole shift in your diet, even if you are grilling!(For easy and fun recipes, visit this link: http://greatist.com/health/4th-of-july-recipes) It will be hot this weekend too, so remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water if you are outside. The Mi Salud clinic is here to assist you and your family in your healthcare needs. Contact us at 602.523.9312 with questions or to make an appointment. Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!