Summer is an exciting season for many reasons: longer days, vacations, family time, and more time in the sun. It’s also a time when people pull out their grills, head to their local ice cream stands, and enjoy the foods of summer. But if you want to eat healthy this season, it can feel like a challenge.
Thankfully, with a few tweaks, you can upgrade your habits with these healthy summer eating tips.
Make the Best of Fresh, Seasonal Produce
Many delicious fruits and vegetables are ripest in the summer, meaning you can enjoy them in various ways. (Plus, in-season produce is typically more affordable — win, win!)
Some of the top summer fruits, according to Whole Foods, include:
- Berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries
- Stone fruits: peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and cherries
- Honeydew and cantaloupe
Some of the best summer veggies include:
- Summer squash
- Sweet potatoes
Look up recipes for ways to make the best of these summer fruits and vegetables. For example, you could make fruit salads, grilled veggies (preferably fresh off your backyard grill!), veggie skewers, lettuce wraps, fresh salads, and buddha bowls.
Make Easy Subs for Classic Summer Indulgences
Some of our favorite summer dishes, snacks, and desserts aren’t so great on our bodies over time. If you want to lighten things up, make simple changes or substitutions like:
- Meat and veggie kabobs instead of hot dogs
- Veggie patties instead of beef burgers
- Banana “nice” cream instead of ice cream
- Potato salad made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise
- Fruit and Nutella instead of s’mores
You don’t have to give up everything you love, but if you want to be healthier this season, these simple tips will help.
Balance Your Plate
Ensure you get your veggies in this summer by making room for them at each meal. Aim to make half of your plate vegetables, preferably of various colors. You’ll get plenty of essential vitamins and minerals while enjoying your favorite summer foods.
Watch the Salts, Sugars, and Unhealthy Fats
Many summer recipes are so tasty because they’re high in the “good” stuff like excess sugars, high sodium counts, and solid fats. You can mindfully cut back by:
- Checking labels and choosing reduced sodium, low sodium, or no salt added options when you can
- Replacing sugary drinks with low-sugar options, such as unsweetened tea instead of soda or energy drinks
- Reducing your intake of foods with hydrogenated fats like cookies, cakes, butter, and processed meats
Small changes add up to significant changes in your health!
Research Options Before You Travel
Taking time off work to travel this summer? Enjoy! And if you want to keep eating healthy while away, the internet is your best friend.
Google the location you’re going with keywords like “healthy restaurants in [city]” or “how to eat healthy in [city]” for nutritious options at local restaurants. If you already know where you’re eating, you can probably look up the menu online and have a plan for healthy alternatives to order.
And remember, it’s okay to have balance. Look for ways to fit health into your vacation, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself too!
You’re more likely to become dehydrated during the warmer months, so don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Carry a reusable water bottle with you so you can hydrate anytime.
The Bottom Line
Eating healthy and feeling good doesn’t have to be complicated this summer. Use these tips to get in your nutrients while enjoying what the season offers!