Fourth of July: Fireworks and Heart Healthy Eating

SYoung Health Guide
  • Well a holiday weekend is fast approaching, and that will mean that traditional cook out food will reign supreme.    However, I am doing something different this holiday weekend.  I am declaring my independence from bad-for-you cook out food. 


    Some friends do go high-end with ribs done in the smoker or barbecue done with all the right ingredients and spices.  While there may be some fat and calories, you know the ingredients are wholesome, you can judge the amount of fat and cholesterol, and you know how much salt is used.  For the most part though, the majority of people don't really invest the time and effort into their cook outs in order to prepare thoughtful meals for people with health issues.  So, you end up with hot dogs, pre-formed frozen beef patties, potato-based hamburger and hot dog buns, and store bought potato salad and coleslaw.  We all need to say no to that bad, processed food.  Obviously, it must be done delicately.  I will be doing this for my health and hope you will too.  Those pre-formed, frozen beef patties, which should be called fatties because that is what they are full of are definitely off my list of edible food.  Hot dogs?  Who knows what's in them besides chemicals, fat, and sodium.  That store bought potato salad.  It's a killer because it's full of eggs, carbohydrates, and sodium. 

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    What do you do if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, or heart failure and you are on a strict diet?  Well, you can start by offering to bring a dish.  Most hosts will always appreciate the assistance in varying the menu.  You may then bring something that is healthy and that will help you with your disease management program.  There are a lot of options from healthy juice drinks to bean salads and green salads to fruit.  Stick to eating what you bring.  It might be hard, but if you have been placed on a strict diet by your physician even a small side-step into frozen beef patty land can have a devastating outcome for you.  If you are healthy and just want to stick to your diet, it's important to think before diving in. 


    All in all, on the fourth, I am declaring that good for your food actually is not just good for you but tastes better.  I will watch everyone chow down and with smug confidence smile knowing that by eating well, I will feel better, be guilt free, and will stay healthier in the long run.  In the end, really, it really is not so hard to say no to what most folks will be serving.  Just think about what it contains, how and where it was made, and what it means to your health. 

Published On: July 01, 2011