Want to have a summer party that is both festive and healthy? These tips, foods, and healthy July 4th recipes will help you enjoy get-togethers that nourish your body and support your health deliciously.
Sitting in the sunshine all day, burgers and hot dogs sizzling on the grill, plates piled high with mayo-drenched potato salad, fireworks shooting across the sky, and red, white, and blue everywhere you look.
For many Americans, this is an annual tradition. And like most holidays, the 4th of July — U.S. Independence Day — is known for some unhealthy practices. You probably don’t expect to find healthful foods at most parties. But what if you want to host a summer get-together, or attend one, without sacrificing your health?
The following tips and recipes will help you create (or participate in) a 4th of July celebration or another summer party that won’t disrupt your healthy lifestyle.
Getting outside and grilling and barbecuing is common for summer parties, including the 4th of July. But there are downsides to grilling many people don’t know.
When meat — with its high fat and protein content — is cooked using high temperatures for long periods of time, it develops chemicals (also found in cigarette smoke) that may lead to cancer.
Consuming (and even just smelling) barbecued meat has been found to be hazardous to fetal development, leading to smaller birth weights and heads for newborns.
Another concern with meat and high-heat cooking is AGEs (advanced glycation end products).
Excess dietary AGEs:
Animal foods are abundant in AGEs, as are sugary and processed foods. And new AGEs form when these foods are cooked using high-heat methods including grilling.
Most vegetables and fruits contain relatively few AGEs, even after cooking.
But here’s the good news: Most vegetables and fruits contain relatively few AGEs, even after cooking.
However, plant foods that are high in protein and fat do produce AGEs when cooked using high-heat methods. So grilling tofu, tempeh, and other soy products may not be the healthiest idea.
And what about using oil when grilling? Refined oils are also high in AGEs.
Getting rid of all your exposures to carcinogens and harmful toxins isn’t possible. But you can eliminate or minimize a risk when you know about it. And now you know!
Grilling fresh vegetables and fruits without oil is the healthiest way to enjoy a healthy BBQ. It’s also an easy way to add natural, mouthwatering flavor to foods without risking your health.
With the following recipes, you can enjoy traditional 4th of July food without the guilt.
Giving people something to snack on before the main food is served is always a good idea.
Here are some foods worth munching on:
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