Hooray! Independence Day is Friday and many families are planning a day by the pool, watching the fireworks show, and, of course, grilling! While you are stocking up on your sunscreen, bottled water, sparklers and charcoal, stock up on heart-healthy foods to toss on the grill.
We’re all familiar with grilling meats, but don’t forget that vegetables are superb on the grill too. So are higher-fat types of fish.
On the meat side, choose some that are low in saturated fat, such as chicken breasts without skin and leaner cuts of beef. And dive into the tons of seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are great for the grill.
Go fish! Fish, especially oily fish like tuna and salmon have great nutritional benefits including omega-3 fatty acids. Rub a fillet with lemon juice and parsley or rosemary for enhanced flavor.
Make a better burger: if you’re grilling burgers, be sure to buy lean or extra lean beef, drain off the excess fat after cooking and avoid making huge patties. Remember that a serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards (3 oz). Add finely chopped green pepper to your beef to get in some veggies.
Baked sweet potato: Pierce the potato in a few places to let out steam, wrap in foil, and toss on the grill.
Asparagus: Load a row of asparagus in a metal veggie holder made for the grill, drizzle with a touch of olive oil and grill both sides until slightly browned.
Veggie kabobs: Load up skewers with mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, onions, yellow squash and other veggies. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray and grill until slightly blackened.
Try grilled corn on the cob: Leave the husks on, and grill for about 30 minutes over medium flame, rotating occasionally. Remove from grill, let cool for about five minutes, remove husks and enjoy!
And remember, while you and your family are enjoying all of the fun in the backyard, be sure and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
For more tips on making your 4th of July and this summer more heart-healthy, visit