You are here

4 Healthy Summer Foods That Aren't


Think you're ordering the bikini-friendly option? Some seemingly light and healthy summer foods end up packing more fat than a burger! But these diet tips can help you steer clear of summer food train wrecks. Most of these summer food offenders don't have to be—our diet tips help you clean them up and even end the summer a smaller size than you started.

Healthy Fake-Out #1: Lobster
Lobster is to summer what butter is to lobster; a must. One lobster tail contains about 200 calories and 3 grams of fat. Not bad. But dip it in a 1/4 cup of butter and you're now looking at 600 calories and 47 grams of fat.
Slim-it-down diet tips:
•Use lemon juice. Squeeze a lemon on top to add moisture and flavor.
•Drizzle! If you go for butter, just drizzle 2 tablespoons over the top rather then saturating every bite. Saves you 200 calories and 22 grams of fat.
•Flavor the cooking water. When boiling your own lobster, add wine, vegetables, and herbs for more flavorful meat. The cooking liquid can also be reduced into a dipping sauce to eliminate butter altogether.
•Try shrimp instead. 10 medium shrimp cost just 60 calories and 0 grams of fat. Dip them in 1/4 cup of cocktail sauce—it will get you just 100 calories and no fat.

RECIPE: Quinoa Salad with Shrimp

Healthy Fake-Out #2: Honey Mustard
Summer is a great time for grab-and-go sandwiches, and while most mustards are pretty healthy—bearing 9 calories and 0.6 grams of fat per tablespoon—honey mustard is the exception. Two tablespoons pack 130 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of sugar, and often contain high fructose corn syrup.
Slim-it-down diet tips:
•Make your own honey mustard. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons yellow mustard and about 1/2 a tablespoon of honey. That nets just 43 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.
•Spice it up. Substitute Dijon or spicy brown mustard. You'll get a huge amount of flavor for just 9 calories a tablespoon.
•Add fruit, such as apple slices, to naturally sweeten your sandwich. Saves you more than 100 calories and 10 grams of fat.

RELATED: Top 50 Diet Foods for Summer

Healthy Fake-Out #3: Sprinkles
You used to get them on your ice cream cone when you were a kid and now you add them to your fro yo for a guilt-free treat. Not so fast! These sugary toppers pack on 70 calories per teaspoon—and chances are, you're getting way more than a teaspoon of them on your cone.
Slim-it-down diet tips:
•Add colorful fruit. You won't miss the rainbow of colors when you add a tablespoon each of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, mango and kiwi. Total calorie cost? 21 little calories.
•Skip it. Ask yourself if sprinkles are really worth the added calories. They don't impart any flavor and probably don't increase your satisfaction.

TRY THESE!: Top 5 Slimming Summer Desserts

Healthy Fake-Out #4: Veggie Burger
While most store-bought veggie burgers are reasonable in calories and fat, restaurant veggie burgers can have upwards of 420 calories and 16 grams of fat. One major restaurant chain's veggie burger packs an astounding 610 calories and 28 grams of fat.
Slim-it-down diet tips:
•Go for the beef (sometimes). Most basic hamburgers are about 350 calories and 13 grams of fat. While you don't want to eat red meat too often, you also don't want a veggie burger that packs 28 grams of fat.
•Try grilled shrimp or fish on a bun. Just make sure they're not breaded first!
•Put veggies in the bun. A grilled vegetable sandwich on a 6" hard roll has about 230 calories and 3 grams of fat. Plus: Tastes great and gets you plenty of nutrients you need.

Related Stories
Bonus Cookbook: 6 Burgers That Keep You Slim
More Summer Diet Tips
Your Post-Pig-Out Plan