The Healthiest (and Still Festive!) 4th of July Foods

Healthiest (and Still Festive!) 4th of July Foods

Healthiest (and Still Festive!) 4th of July FoodsIt’s that time of year! Stars and stripes are flying and fireworks are starting to burst. And, if you’re like most of us, you’re already thinking about firing up the grill and preparing your favorite festive, patriotic foods. But unfortunately, those favorite summer items likely aren’t that healthy.

When was the last time you saw a double cheeseburger or a bag of potato chips on a diet plan? If you’re dedicated to taking care of yourself, you don’t have to sacrifice food and flavor for your health.

There are a whole lot of great foods you can enjoy – with a clear conscious – this 4th of July. Here are a few of our favs.

Lean, Healthy Meats

Fatty ribs slathered in sticky barbecue sauce might be something you’re used to indulging in on the 4th of July, but just because you’re watching what you eat doesn’t mean you can’t fire up the grill.

In fact, grilling is a super healthy way to cook a variety of meats. But instead of choosing the fattiest cuts around, opt for lean, flavorful meats that shine on the grill. Our favorites are chicken breasts and thighs, filet mignon, salmon, and jumbo shrimp.

When you’re choosing a marinade, opt for those made primarily of olive oils and vinegars – steer clear of sugar rubs or syrupy concoctions.

Grilled Peppers

Is there anything better than the slightly crisp, ever-so-smoky sweetness of a freshly grilled bell pepper? And in their vibrant red color, peppers are the perfect festive accouterment to your 4th of July meal.

These babies grill up quickly and are perfect eating plain or layered on salads or even stuffed with rice and cheese. There’s never been an easier – or healthier – side dish to whip up.


Finally, a favorite party food that’s actually healthy! That’s the miracle of guacamole, a dip that chock-full of healthy fats (and a whole lot of deliciousness).

If you’re choosing a veggie-and-dip combo, forgo the saturated fat laden ranch or cream cheese dips and carve up some avocados. Not only does it come together quickly with minimal ingredients (avocados, garlic, onion, lime, and salt), it’s the appetizer or side that everyone will love (and not feel guilty eating).

Brussels Sprouts

Hear us out here. There’s a reason brussels sprouts are showing up on restaurant menus around the country. That’s because, when cooked crisp in olive oil and paired with bacon or prosciutto, this healthy green veggie tastes downright decadent. And that crisp, rich flavor can even satiate your craving for French fries – with a whole lot less calories.

Broil some brussel sprouts in the oven or crisp them on the stove, then show your guests that veggies really can be fun.

The Sirloin Burger

If you gotta have a burger on the 4th of July, we don’t blame you. A grilled hamburger likely brings back memories of Independence Days past. That said, many cheeseburgers are filled with saturated fats, then topped with starches like white buns, sweet barbecue sauce and fatty cheese and mayo.

This 4th of July, grill up a leaner – but just as tasty – burger. Pick up some high-quality ground sirloin and you’ll experience that beefy flavor you love with a whole lot fewer calories. Then top your burger wisely. Use a whole wheat bun, or wrap your patty in lettuce and pile it with tomatoes, pickles, mustard and avocado.


While not exactly a health food, coleslaw is often a better option that many other barbecue sides (we’re talking to you, potato salad and Doritos). Made up of healthy raw cabbage, you’ll get a good dose of isothiocyanates, which are a natural detoxifying agent in the body.

If you want to be super healthy, make the coleslaw yourself with low fat mayo and reduced sugar (or sweeten with honey).

Your turn: How are you keeping it healthy this 4th of July?

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