STATE–With Labor Day only a few short weeks away, many New Jerseyians are starting to plan the unofficial end of summer with a celebration of friends, family and of course-BBQ!
The American Heart Association offers advice on how you can tweak your annual holiday to include some heart-healthy options without losing flavor or fun!
When it comes to the grill, a few simple changes can make all the difference. Try switching out the regular hamburgers to either turkey or chicken burgers or grilling up a nice piece of fish, like salmon, trout and herring, which are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. When looking at beef or pork, choose “loin” or “round” cuts of meat and be sure to buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef instead of “prime” for lower fat content.
Focus on healthy salads for side dishes instead of those loaded with fat or salt. Try baby spinach with strawberries or mixed greens with orange slices instead of mayonnaise-based salads. Add some crunch-and healthier fats-with some toasted walnuts or almonds instead of croutons. Don’t fall into the trap that grilling is just for meats and fish. Toss on some fresh veggies or sweet fruit like slices of pineapples or apricots for a delicious grilled treat.
Instead of putting out bowls of chips, which can be high in saturated and trans fats, serve raw veggies like carrots, cucumbers and celery sticks. Switch out sodas for water or unsweetened icetea and consider a smoothie bar made with fresh fruit, vanilla or lemon yogurt and a touch of honey for a healthy, refreshing dessert alternative.
Why not start an annual tradition of a volleyball game, baseball game or set up an obstacle course? It’s a great way to have fun with family and friends while getting some exercise. Enjoy the ‘unofficial’ end of summer with a walk to end your day and enjoy a full night’s sleep to give your body and heart the rest it needs.
Looking for ideas for a recipe? Try this Marinated Vegetable Salad for a new twist on a classic salad!
Marinated Vegetable Salad
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped unpeeled cucumber (English, or hot house, preferred)
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat four-cheese Italian blend
2 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil (extra-virgin preferred)
1 small garlic clove, minced
In a medium bowl, stir together the salad ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad. Toss lightly to coat. For peak flavor, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Calories Per Serving: 54 Total Fat: 2.0g Saturated Fat: 0.5g Trans Fat: 0.0g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g Cholesterol: 3mg Sodium: 62mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 4g Protein: 3g