Swapping Out Healthy Alternatives For July 4th Favorites

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 7/04/2012 8:10 am
There's never a shortage of food at Independence Day picnics, but you don't have to watch your diet blow up like a firecracker on July 4th; just do the holiday picnic swap.

You can start by swapping enriched, white hamburger and hot dog buns for whole-grain.

Go for 100% whole grain to make sure you're getting all those vitamins and minerals.

Next, you van swap out ground beef burgers for a black bean burger, which offers less calories and saturated fat.

Park the potato salad in favor of a whole wheat pasta salad. You can cover it in extra virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables, some lemon juice, and a touch of parmesan.
 
You can also chuck the potato chips for multi-grain corn chips. They offer less saturated fat than chips and more Vitamin B.

And homemade hummus is always a hit at any holiday party.

"You know, a lot of times people will bring the old standard chip dip or ranch dressing and those are really high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. A much healthier swap would be to use a hummus or make your own hummus, it's super easy. Blend some chick peas, blend them up with some extra virgin olive oil and some lemon, and it's fabulous," said Amy Jamieson-Petonic, a registered dietician at Cleveland Clinic.

Jamieson-Petonic says to swap your pop with infused water.

She says to add your favorite fruit or vegetable to a pitcher or a glass of water and let it soak in the flavor and it's vitamins and minerals.
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