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9 recipe swaps to lighten up your favorite summer foods

9 recipe swaps to lighten up your favorite summer foods
9 recipe swaps to lighten up your favorite summer foods
Lazy summer days by the pool, cookouts with family and friends, picnics and cool treats — there are plenty of reasons to love summer. But if we indulge in our favorite summer foods all summer long, weight gain is inevitable.

Lazy summer days by the pool, cookouts with family and friends, picnics and cool treats — there are plenty of reasons to love summer. But if we indulge in our favorite summer foods all summer long, weight gain is inevitable.

Here are some summer swaps to help you cut calories and fat and keep your body beach-ready all summer long.

Banana soft-serve for ice cream or frozen yogurt. Toss a few frozen, ripe bananas into the food processor and let it run until the bananas become fluffy and smooth. Scoop out and serve in a bowl for a cool, healthy take on ice cream or fro-yo.

Sandwich thins or lettuce wraps for burger buns. Cookouts are no doubt a summer favorite, but greasy burgers can weigh you down. Lighten the load by enjoying your burger on a whole-wheat sandwich thin or lettuce bun instead.

Turkey or chicken dog for hot dog. Swapping your beef hot dogs for a chicken or turkey dog will cut the fat and calorie content of this summer classic.

Crispy kale chips for potato chips. Who knew a salty, crunchy snack could actually be good for you? Instead of munching on potato chips packed with sodium, fat and calories, make your own nutritious kale chips. Try this recipe for healthy, crispy kale chips.

Sparkling water for soda. There’s just something about a carbonated drink on a hot summer day, but soda is loaded with empty calories. So instead, get refreshed with a glass of sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice or some sugar-free flavored water.

Greek yogurt for mayo. Is mayo-dressed potato salad one of your go-to favorite dishes for summer? Lighten it up by replacing half the mayo in the recipe with Greek yogurt.

Chilled white wine for your favorite frozen cocktail. There’s no question that many cocktails are laden with sugar. In fact, one frozen drink can pack an entire meal’s worth of calories. Instead of a fancy frozen cocktail, fill half a glass of chilled white wine with some frosty sparkling water and a few slices of fresh fruit.

Spaghetti squash for spaghetti. Going Italian for dinner? Rather than using carb-loaded pasta, bake a spaghetti squash, fork out the stringy squash meat and top it with your favorite pasta sauce.

Spiralized noodles for pasta. A zesty, cool pasta salad can be an enticing dish in the summer, but again, pasta noodles are packed with carbs. Give this recipe for Mediterranean zucchini pasta salad a try for a fresh and healthy twist on your favorite cold pasta salad.

Keep these simple recipe swaps in mind and enjoy your summer without the extra calories.