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Summertime can really make or break your diet. During July, when the sun is out, you’re headed to parties and BBQs and meeting with friends, things can go one of two ways.
Many people find they’re really not too hungry in the Summer and don’t need the comfort foods of the Winter months, so opt for light dishes, which is great.
At the same time, with so many social functions and lots of opportunities for ice creams on days out, cold beers with colleagues after work and desserts and barbecues, July can really mess with your weight loss progress.
The secret? Keep a stash of Summer superfoods in your fridge.
The term “superfood” doesn’t have an official definition, but on the whole, it refers to a food with a high nutrient value, that isn’t packed with calories and offers something in the way of a healthy fat, some metabolism-boosting protein, or plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Rather than your regular old lettuce, tinned tuna, broccoli and crackers that your weight loss diet might revolve around for the rest of the year, use the Summer months as an opportunity to stock up on new superfoods.
Meat and Fish
You might automatically think of fruits and vegetables when the word “superfood” comes to mind, but when it’s barbecue season, what better way to get your superfoods than on the grill?
Compared to other fish, salmon is right up there as one of the best. The biggest benefit it has is its high omega 3 content. These are the “heart-healthy fats” that we generally don’t get nearly enough of. In fact, the typical Westerner’s diet usually has a ratio of around 20:1 omega 6 to omega 3 fats. Ideally, this ratio should be somewhere between 1:1 and 4:1, so we’re some way off.
Salmon is a great way to ensure you boost your omega 3 intake, fight heart disease, reduce inflammation and feel great. Plus, it makes a nice change from chicken on the barbecue.
For the healthiest salmon, look for wild caught stuff, rather than farm raised.
Forget your steak and go for buffalo instead. (Actually, don’t forget your steak, keep it in, but have buffalo as an extra option.)
Buffalo is low in fat and cholesterol, has more protein per gram than beef, and contains omega 3s and vitamin E. You might not find buffalo in your run of the mill supermarkets, so head to a local farm or market, or have a look online to pick some up.
There’s nothing better than a perfectly cooked steak, but you can make your steak even better by choosing grass-fed beef.
Grass-fed cows are far healthier than their factory farmed cousins, and their meat has a higher omega 3 content, more of the healthy fat CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and is generally a lot more natural than cheap beef.
You can even go for grass-fed burgers. Many health food stores stock these, but if you can’t find pre-made burgers, just buy some ground grass-fed beef and make burgers using your favorite herbs and spices, along with an egg yolk or two and a few breadcrumbs or crushed crackers to give them body and help the meat stick together.