Summer fun and eating healthy

Summer Fresh - Eating Healthy

By Yolanda Yoder, M.D.


We wait all year for the sunny, bright days of summer when blue skies and good weather invite us outdoors. It’s also a time when it’s easy to eat plenty of fresh and tasty food to boost our health. 

Some thoughtful care about our choices can help us feel great as we enjoy the warm sunny days.  When we get thirsty, it’s a good idea to consider how summer activities also sometimes lead to lots of beverages that hold very high levels of sugar, such as sweet tea, lemonade, and soda drinks. When grills fire up, sometimes the food can tend toward high-fat and cholesterol-rich meats. The same is true when we check out local county fairs and their once-a-year unusual foods.

But there is good news – eating right doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. Moderation is key to enjoying summer food and also practicing good nutrition. With an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, longer days, and a natural inclination to be more active, it’s easier than ever to incorporate nutritious foods into your diet.

People with diabetic or related conditions can enjoy summer food

In fact, for those with diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions, summer showcases an opportunity to enjoy a broad range and variety of fresh foods. The American Diabetes Association offers some excellent tips on how to enjoy food and make good choices – even if you are at a fast-food restaurant, a county fair, or a local picnic. Take a look at the good advice available here:

Now is the time to eat fresh food

All year long, as a long-time practicing physician, I remind my patients and their families to eat fresh foods whenever they can. Summer is one of the best times, when inexpensive fresh food is readily available in a variety of healthy choices. Roadside farmer’s markets and many other places offer up great choices, many at peak flavor.

Berries, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, and leafy greens are just a few examples of the seasonal bounty in southern Indiana. These delicious foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Berries are rich in vitamin C and fiber, while tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that supports heart health and your immune system.

Drink water and plenty of it

Southern Indiana is blessed with an abundance of fresh water and plenty of clean water is available to keep you hydrated. Don’t forget to snack on watermelon, cucumbers and oranges, all of which have high water content. 

Enjoy grilling

Lots of people enjoy grilling out during our southern Indiana summers. Grilling produces tasty options and can be healthy when you minimize unhealthy fats and opt for lean proteins like skinless chickens and fish. Marinating meats in herbs and citrus juices can enhance flavor without adding sugar or fat content, making the grill a healthy place.

Summer, barbeque and ice cream all go together, and practicing sensible moderation can help you enjoy these treats. 

Need more information? Monthly cooking classes and gardening techniques are available all over southern Indiana. Here are some online versions: 

Long-time physician Yolanda Yoder serves as Medical Chief of Staff for Southern Indiana Community Health Care.

© 2024 Southern Indiana Community Health Care.   PRIVACY

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