Four Foods to Make Healthier on the Fourth

Have A Happy Fourth Of July With
Four Foods to Make Healthier on the Fourth

Potato Salad:

This yummy side is often loaded with sodium and fat. Making a few simple adjustments to your recipe can reap a much healthier product.

Using low-fat mayonnaise can reduce the amount of fat, but ensure that the reduction in fat is not due to an increase in sugar.

It is commonly thought that taking out the egg yolks will reduce the cholesterol, but not only does the yolk add great flavor, it also supplies many nutrients: iron, choline, potassium, phosphorous, and vitamin A.

When it comes to the potato, leave as much skin on as you can because the outer layer is filled with nutrients and will add more texture to your salad.

Also, when adding the dressing, make sure the spuds are still warm because they will absorb more of the flavor opposed to when they have cooled, which leads to needing less.

If you want to try an entirely new healthy potato salad recipe, consider this one:



Makes 6 servings

4 medium potatoes (about 1 1/3 pounds)

2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

1/2 green sweet pepper, chopped (1/3 cup)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 hard-cooked egg, coarsely chopped


  1. Clean potatoes and slice into 1-inch cubes, leaving skin on. In a covered saucepan, add enough water to cover the potatoes entirely and boil for 20-25 minutes or until tender; drain.
  2. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, celery, green pepper, onion, mustard, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Add potatoes and egg to the mixture and toss gently until mixed. Cover and alow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (or up to 24).


Baked Beans:

Another side full of sugar, sodium, and additives- baked beans are often a very unhealthy addition to your plate.

Beans alone are a good source of fiber, but when they are canned and drowned in sauced, many of the nutritious benefits are overshadowed.

The best way to avoid unhealthy baked beans is to look closely at the label and avoid the brands high in sugar and sodium, or better yet, make them homemade. For healthy baked beans, try this recipe:


  • 1/2 lb pinto or white beans, soaked overnight in water
  • 1 can “no salt added” tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp molasses (blackstrap or regular)
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder


Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Lightly grease the crockpot and combine all ingredients. Cover with the lid, and cook on high 7 hours or until beans are soft.

Turn off the crockpot and with the lid on; allow beans to sit for an hour. Serve or keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Baked Beans



Hot Dogs:

This all-American favorite may be delicious, but it is certainly not nutritious.

It is often unclear what meat is in most hot dog brands. The best way to beef up the health of your hot dog is by really reading the label (see last week’s article).

Look for uncured all beef hot dogs, with the best of the best being links that are organic grass fed beef. Watch out for a few common hot dog brands- Ball Park beef franks are listed among the worst choice because they are loaded with 550 mg of sodium and 16 grams of fat.

You can also make a healthier choice by picking out chicken or turkey hot dogs, which are usually lower in calories and fat.

Along with choosing a healthy hot dog, sugar, salt, and fat can be cut with the bun and condiments. Either use a whole-wheat bun or even substitute a bun entirely with lettuce.

As for condiments, avoid fatty things like mayonnaise and BBQ sauce, and keep the toppings to a minimum.

Hot Dog



Ice Cream:

This sweet treat is also one of the unhealthier items that Americans consume on the fourth of July. Ice cream is loaded with sugar and fat and as toppings and flavorings are added, the worse it becomes.

There are a variety of frozen Greek yogurt substitutes that taste just as good, but beware of the sugar! Many labels are misleading because they show fewer calories, but this does not matter if it is higher in sugar or fat.

If you want to swap ice cream for an even healthier frozen treat, try slicing bananas into ¼ inch pieces, freezing them, and then throwing them in a food processor or blender until creamy.

Following this, a variety of things can be added to achieve a sweeter taste. Vanilla extract, peppermint extract and dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes and coco powder, or even strawberries make the bananas taste like classic ice cream flavors.

This is a great option because bananas are loaded with vitamins and nutrients and can help lower blood pressure.


The Fourth of July is a fun time to get together and enjoy good food.  With these simple changes we can enjoy our food and eat healthier at the same time.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.

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