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June 20, 2016

Top 7 Foods to Avoid This Summer

The first day of summer is here, and we couldn't be more excited. Short sleeves, sun dresses, cookouts, and picnics - it's time to celebrate this wonderful season! There are some amazing seasonal foods to enjoy this time of year, but others you should try to avoid (no matter how much you associate them with summertime).

Top 7 Foods to Avoid this Summer:

  1. Sweet potatoes.
    These sugary potatoes are harvested in the fall, and usually imported from China during warmer summer months. Stick to these root vegetables during cooler months, and opt for fresh sweet corn instead for your cookout.
  2. Pomegranates.
    These antioxidant-rich fruits might be great on your salad, but it's best to hold off on getting them until winter. They're imported from Chile other times of the year, and could potentially be sprayed with a lot of pesticides. Try stone fruits like peaches and nectarines instead, or even sweeten your water with True Lemon Peach Lemonade!
  3. High-protein foods.
    Those burgers and hot dogs can be difficult for your body to digest, and it takes a lot of energy to break them down. When your body does this it actually creates heat - a process known as thermogenesis. This causes a spike in body temperature, which doesn't help when you're already sweating on a 90+ degree day. Pass on the meat when you can, and opt for more veggies.
  4. Coffee.
    Yep, that even means the iced version! Coffee is a diuretic, and those bathroom trips will cause your body to lose salt and water. This will leave you dehydrated, and not-so-happy in that hot summer sun. If you can't go without caffeine in the morning, try Matcha tea instead. You might give up your morning cup of Joe for good!
  5. Frozen cocktails.
    Nothing sounds more refreshing than a slushy margarita or pina colada to beat the heat. But those sugary drinks can pack in a ton of extra calories, and leave you feeling worse than if you'd gone without. A better alternative? Try some of these low sugar and sugar free cocktail recipes instead! Another helpful trick: keep some True Lime Black Cherry Limeade in your bag, and add it to a simple drink of rum and soda water.
  6. Asparagus.
    Although asparagus is delicious when thrown on the grill, it's strictly a spring crop. Other months it will not be as tasty, probably due to the long travel from Mexico or Peru. Snow peas and string beans are better options this time of year.
  7. Shellfish.
    Believe it or not, shellfish have seasons just like fruits and vegetables do! Different types of seafood are considered out of season when they're spawning, and during the summer that usually means oysters, clams, and mussels. Harvesting these types of shellfish during this time of year can put their populations at risk, and going with commercially farmed shellfish means you're probably getting it genetically modified. It's best to simply avoid these all together this time of year.

Looking to clean up your diet and ready your body for pool season? Here are five easy ways to get back on track!

[Credit:"4 Worst Summer Calorie Bombs." Prevention.]
[Credit: Levan, Jared. "Foods to Avoid in Heat Waves." Food Republic.]