June: Eating Lean and Green This Summer
on Thursday, 14 June 2012. by Liesel Daugherty, MPH, RD, LD
Think back to what you ate on Memorial Day. If that meal threw your diet off, read below as I hit the nutritional high points for more success next time. You’ll find out how to make lean and green choices for a delicious July 4th meal that is kinder to your body during swimsuit season!
MUFAs, monounsaturated fatty acids, can help people store less belly fat. Olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, and avocado contain MUFAs.
- Have bowls of nuts and olives and some guacamole with raw veggies as appetizers.
- Replace soybean and corn oil with olive oil in marinades.
- If you skip the desserts like American flag cake, have some dark chocolate that evening as your reward.
Omega-3 PUFAs, polyunsaturated fatty acids, are found in fish and many nuts and seeds. These fats are anti-inflammatory (inflammation in the body and obesity are highly correlated!) and can increase resting metabolism and diet-induced calorie burn compared to saturated fats.
- Again, have nuts as munchies instead of chips, pretzels, etc.
- Grill some fish (like salmon) along with the classic grill items.
A protein-rich meal increases satiety (fullness and satisfaction) and post-meal metabolism. Also, people who consume higher-protein diets tend to eat 10 percent less food per day (about 200 calories).
- Enjoy nuts as a protein-rich appetizer.
- Skip the buns and get two servings of meat, topped the way you like (easy on the ketchup and sweet relish!). This higher protein to carbohydrate ratio will reduce your temptation to hit the dessert table.
Vitamin C, Fiber, and Vinegar
People deficient in vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals are at risk of higher body and belly fat; non-starchy vegetables (thanks to their high fiber) and vinegar both increase satiety and can prevent overeating. The ideas below cover all three of these strategies.
- Make an Asian broccoli or cabbage slaw, with olive oil, vinegar, nuts, et cetera. Broccoli and cabbage are rich in vitamin C.
- To increase vegetable intake at your barbecue, grill some vegetables and set out lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles as toppings for grilled meats
- Make fresh lemonade with Splenda as the beverage for another vitamin C boost.
Here is a recipe for an Oriental Coleslaw that includes fiber, vinegar, vitamin C, protein, and healthy fats, all in one recipe. I wish everyone a happy summer and healthy July 4th!
*For family get-togethers, double the recipe because it goes quickly.
1 16 oz bag of coleslaw mix
6 green onions, tops only, sliced very thinly
1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels
1/2 cup sesame oil or olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 cup splenda
2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl.
- Add the green onions and sunflower seed kernels.
- Place the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
- Add the dressing mixture to the salad and stir well.
- If possible, refrigerate a couple of hours or overnight.