Summer is a season of fun, outdoor activities, and tempting treats. As the temperature rises, it’s essential to be mindful of what we consume to maintain our health and well-being. While it’s okay to indulge occasionally, certain foods and drinks can negatively impact our bodies, leaving us feeling sluggish and unhealthy. In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the unhealthy foods and drinks to steer clear of this summer to ensure you stay on track with your wellness goals.
Of course, never restrict yourself too much and too often. You can absolutely have any of these things I mention on this list. But know there are just healthier options.
Unhealthy Foods and Drinks to Avoid this Summer for a Healthier You
- Sugary Beverages
One of the biggest culprits for summer weight gain is sugary beverages like soda, fruit juices, and sweetened iced tea. These drinks are high in empty calories and can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes. Opt for healthier alternatives like water infused with fruits, unsweetened iced tea, or sparkling water with a splash of natural flavor, or just plain water. Avoid these drinks, especially if you want to lose some weight too.
- Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts
While a little indulgence is acceptable, overindulging in ice cream and frozen desserts can be terrible for your health. These treats are usually packed with added sugars and unhealthy fats. Instead, opt for frozen fruit popsicles, yogurt parfaits, or homemade frozen fruit sorbets for a healthier and refreshing option. I also heard people saying that it is better to eat warm food on a warm day instead of cold food. When you eat cold food like ice cream, your body temperature gets lower at first. Then your body starts to work really fast to get your normal body temperature again and then you feel even hotter than before.
- Fried Foods
The allure of fried foods at summer festivals and fairs can be hard to resist, but they are typically high in unhealthy trans fats and calories. Avoid fried chicken, fries, and other deep-fried delights, and choose grilled or baked options instead. Or use the air fryer. It is already a better and healthier way to fry your food.
- High-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks
Alcoholic beverages like margaritas, daiquiris, and piña coladas can be loaded with added sugars and calories. These drinks not only contribute to weight gain but also lead to dehydration. Enjoy alcohol in moderation and opt for lower-calorie options like light beers, vodka with soda water, or wine spritzers. Also, drinking too much alcohol on a hot day is not great. If you still want to drink alcohol, stick to one or two drinks.
- Hot Dogs and Processed Meats
Hot dogs and other processed meats are often staples at summer barbecues, but they can be detrimental to your health. These meats are high in sodium and preservatives, which have been linked to various health issues. Choose leaner cuts of meat or opt for plant-based alternatives like veggie burgers and grilled tofu. These days veggie burgers are pretty delicious. I also have a few favorites I really enjoy eating. If you want to organize a barbecue party, make sure you have a variety of food including veggies, fruit, meat, and veggie burgers.
- Chips and Snack Foods
Crunchy chips and other processed snack foods can be tempting, especially during outdoor gatherings. However, they are typically high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and empty calories. Instead, reach for healthier snacks like air-popped popcorn, veggie sticks with hummus, or homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruits. I save the unhealthy snacks for the weekends. It is totally okay to cheat and eat unhealthy sometimes. I mean, I love junk food. The key is not eating too much of it.
- Sugary Ice Coffee Drinks
Iced coffee can be a refreshing pick-me-up on hot days, but some coffee shop concoctions are more like desserts than beverages. Avoid sugary iced coffee drinks loaded with syrups and whipped cream. Opt for unsweetened iced coffee with a splash of milk or try cold brew coffee for a smoother and less bitter taste.
While summer is a time of relaxation and enjoyment, it’s essential to make conscious choices about what we eat and drink. By avoiding unhealthy foods and beverages, we can maintain our health and well-being while still indulging in some seasonal treats in moderation. Opt for fresh, whole foods, hydrate with water, and enjoy the season without compromising your wellness goals. Remember, a balanced and mindful approach to eating will leave you feeling energized and ready to savor all the joys of summertime.
Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash