How to Have a Heart Healthy 4th of July

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • The 4th of July is just around the corner, which for many of us means BBQ time!
    You can have a great time socializing with family and friends without sabotaging your heart healthy diet and progress lowering cholesterol. Here are some healthy barbeque ideas:

    1. Talk more than you chew.

    It's a social event, so socialize! You don't have to have a loaded plate to enjoy yourself. Take the time to catch up with a friend while sitting back and watch the kids play. Instead of being first in line at the buffet table, let others serve themselves first. Select a smaller plate and fill it with the healthiest options. Limit your intake of foods that are slathered in mayo, fried, and breaded. Pay attention to what goes in your mouth. Sit down to enjoy the food versus mindlessly eating while standing around the buffet table.

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    2. Sip smart.

    Your beverage choice can be the biggest downfall. Alcoholic beverages can be loaded with calories and sugar and you already know soda shouldn't be your first choice. So, what does that leave you? Select unsweetened iced tea, green tea, sparkling water, Crystal Light lemonade, and if necessary just plain ice water may be your best bet.


    3. Include healthy substitutions.

    You don't have to plan a menu loaded with only high calorie choices, like a 7 layer nacho cheese dip with chips.

    Some healthy choices would include pita chips in place of high fat potato chips, veggie tray, grilled portabella mushrooms, turkey hot dogs and burgers, grilled onions, grilled peppers, and don't forget the watermelon!

    4. Bring your own healthy dish.

    I know for me the 4th of July is usually a potluck affair. So, go armed with a healthy dish you know you can enjoy and fill up on so you're less tempted to go overboard on not so healthy options.

    There are many, many recipes out there! Some good sources for healthy recipes include, the, and

    Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

    Be sure to sign up for the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps at

Published On: June 28, 2010