7. Buns Made with Refined White Flour

Hamburger Buns

Hot dogs and hamburgers go with buns like peanut butter goes with jelly. Unfortunately, most buns are made from highly processed and refined white flour. This means they deliver empty calories with no nutritional value. Cut down on calories by wrapping your meat in a crisp leaf of romaine lettuce instead of a bun. Or, if you just can’t imagine enjoying a burger or hot dog without the bun, try having your sandwich open-faced on only half of a bun. If you are hosting the barbecue, seek out whole wheat options for your guests.

6. Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue Sauce

If you’ve decided to indulge in a juicy piece of grilled meat, you may be tempted to reach for the barbecue sauce to top it off. Barbecue sauces come in a variety of tempting flavors, with every region of the United States claiming to have the best recipe. Unfortunately, these sauces are often full of sodium and sugar. Skip the sugar and try rubbing your meat with a tasty rub instead. Rachael Ray Everyday has a recipe for Spice-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs. This recipe calls for chili powder, coriander, cumin, pepper, garlic powder, salt, and turbinado sugar.

5. Creamy Pasta Salads

Pasta Salad

A creamy pasta salad may hit the spot on a warm day. However, pasta salads with noodles made from refined white flour deliver excess calories without the benefit of vitamins or other nutrients. Furthermore, salads made with mayonnaise carry the added risk of food poisoning if not appropriately kept chilled. Skip the pasta salads and indulge instead in nutrient-rich leafy green or fruit salads. Cooking Classy has a recipe for Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit Salad that combines a variety of fruits, including strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, grapes, and mandarin oranges.

Related: 8 Tips for Shucking Corn and Enjoying those Golden Kernels


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