When the 4th of July rolls around each summer, BBQ ingredients and red-white-and-blue desserts start to pop up all around us. At the grocery store, at work and especially during summer cookouts, 4th of July party foods aren’t always the healthiest. We’ve made a handy chart so you, your family and friends can make easy, healthy swaps for your summer BBQs and 4th of July celebrations.
Trade Hot Dogs for Turkey Dogs
Next time you go to purchase hot dogs, check the label. You may be surprised at what you find. The typical pork hot dog with a bun, ketchup and mustard has 919mg of salt. The World Health Organization per day. Doctors are also concerned about the nitrates found in hot dogs which are linked to cancer. Studies have found that eating hot dogs increases our risks for developing health issues like: type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and higher mortality.
If that’s not enough motivation to give up hot dogs, we recommend giving turkey dogs a try. Though still relatively high in salt, turkey dogs have about half the amount of salt as regular hot dogs. They also have about a quarter of the fat content and no risk of consuming nitrates.
Opt for Water over Soda
Soda is harmful to our overall health, it contains a lot of sugar which can damage our oral health. The American Heart Association recommends to not exceed 150 calories from sugar a day for men and 100 calories from sugar for women. One 12-ounce can of a popular soda brand has 120 calories from sugar.
By choosing water over soda, you’re not only saving your overall health, but you’re also saving your oral health. The cavity-causing bacteria in our mouths love sugar. The more sugar we consume, the more acid those bacteria release on our teeth, causing cavities and tooth decay. Try limiting consumption to one soda a day and rinse with water after. Do it for your teeth and your health!
Why Take Corn Off the Cob?
If you’ve had any dental work done or have braces, corn on the cob is not your friend. Biting down on the corn cob can crack fillings and sealants, damage braces and compromise dentures. Slice the corn off the cob and save everyone a trip to the dentist or orthodontist.
Healthier Potato Salad
Traditional potato salad recipes can have as many as 360 calories and more than 20 grams of fat in one cup. Swap mayo for plain Greek yogurt and a dash of olive oil for a creamy texture everyone will love. Plus, no one will miss those calories you cut out.
Hidden Sugar in Baked Beans
We don’t usually think of baked beans as an unhealthy 4th of July staple, but, most canned baked beans are packed with added sugar and sodium. Read the can’s label before purchasing because half a cup of traditional baked beans have around 15 grams of sugar including high-fructose corn syrup, as well as pure fat for flavor. Make homemade baked beans a healthier way to cut down salt by 40 percent:
- Use no-salt-added tomato sauce and leave out that half-pound of bacon or salt pork
- Use pinto or cannellini beans, Dijon mustard, maple syrup for sweetness and your favorite low-sodium seasonings.
Looking for healthier versions of your other favorite foods? Check out:
*Updated July 2021