“In Summer, people tend to lose track of the Mediterranean diet and portion control. This is because they engage in more eating out activities with family and friends such as barbecues. Food high in saturated fats, sugar and salt tend to be consumed more often during the Summer months.”
Below are some tips one can follow for eating healthier during Summer:
1. Choose Lean cuts of meats.
Consume lean meats such as lean ground beef or skinless chicken breasts instead of processed meats like sausages and ready bought beef burgers. Prepare your
homemade burger by using whole wheat buns, lean meats and opt for healthy vegetable
Patties made from beans and legumes such as chickpeas or lentils offer a high fibre
alternative to meat.
Fish is also a very important part of a healthy diet. In fact we should be consuming
two portions (portion =115g of raw fish) of fish per week. One portion white fish
and another portion oily fish like salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna. Grilled salmon and
tuna offer a low-calorie, protein-packed lunch or dinner. Ask your local fishmonger for the
catch of the day.
2. What to eat.
Prepare summer healthy recipes with the right seasonal ingredients providing hydration as well as a satiety effect. With all the abundant produce available during the summer months, buy food such as fresh vegetables and fruit.
Foods that require more effort to digest, like those high in protein and fibre are thought to
generate more body heat. One way of mitigating this is to use citrus-rich marinades on meat to break down the protein structure and soaking grains to help make the fibre more digestible.
Choose low-fat versions or fat-free and sugar-free ice cream or try a sugar-free sorbet,
which is a lower-calorie, refreshing alternative. Low fat frozen yoghurts could be a suitable
alternative for ice cream for added nutrition and fewer calories.
Food must be handled with great care especially during Summer months and appropriate hand washing should be ensured prior touching food items. Food must be cooked thoroughly and avoid cross contamination with other foods when handling raw poultry and meats.
3. Hydration status
It is recommended to drink between 1.5 to 2 litres (6-8 glasses) of water daily. Water intake depends on age, weight, sex and amount of physical activity performed, as well as environmental factors including the temperature and humidity, both of which speed up the water lost through our skin. Keep track of your water intake during heat waves. Try to add pieces of fruit to the water such as lemon, oranges, watermelon as well as some mint and allow to refrigerate for around 30 minutes to get a refreshing drink. It is important that the vulnerable group of people like babies and children and the elderly also keep well hydrated.
Being slightly more careful with our food and drink choices this Summer will help us consume the right nutrients and keep a healthy weight.
For more information or a copy of our dietary guidelines contact the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate on 23266000
© 2019 – VIDA Magazine