Simple ways to eat healthier this summer

Healthy summer eating tips

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - About 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. But Registered Dietitian Laura McLeroy said making small lifestyle changes could be more beneficial than dieting.

One thing people should change in their routine is the way they shop at a grocery store. It’s recommended to shop the perimeter of the store because that’s where all of the fresh and healthy options are located. The center of the store is where a lot of the processed foods are located. Those types of food are usually higher in sodium, fat, and sugar.

While all fruits and vegetables have health benefits, try picking up produce that is red, purple, or blue. Some examples are blueberries, strawberries, eggplant, tomatoes. Those colors means the food is high in antioxidants, which helps prevent diseases. Look to buy leafy greens as well. They are a good source of fiber and minerals and also help prevent diseases.

Fruits and vegetables also can help with hydration, which is important this time of year. Some examples of produce with high water content is cantaloupe, watermelon, celery, and zucchini.

"Look for small changes that fit your lifestyle. Things that you realistically think you can do and then try to make that a habit two times a week, and then three times a week, and then four times a week. Incorporate your family into doing that with you and before you know it, you'll be eating healthier," McLeroy said.

When grilling, McLeroy recommends people use lean meats like chicken or fish instead of red meat. Too much red meat can increase your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

She also said if you use a charcoal grill, not to flame broil your food. McLeroy said studies show doing so could cause cancer because of the amino acids released in the process.

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