Following a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to go without when it comes to Holidays! Here are some food-related ideas for celebrating Independence Day that will keep you true to your health goals. They are low-carb, anti-inflammatory, gluten-free, dairy-free and elimination-diet friendly. But don’t let that fool you, they’re absolutely scrumptious!
Use Meat Marinades to Prevent AGEs
What are AGEs? Well, AGE stands for Advanced Glycation End-products, and these compounds are literally AGE-ing. They lead to increased oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which are both contributing factors to most modern-day chronic diseases, AND accelerate the aging process.
When we char-grill meats, we’re creating AGEs. You can recognize them as the blackened parts, commonly found on grilled and barbecued foods. But there are ways to minimize AGE production so that you can still enjoy the grilling traditions:
- An acidic marinade (like lemon juice or vinegar) for at least 1 hour reduces AGE content of grilled foods. Avoid marinades that add lots of sugar, which will create more AGEs. Here are some good ones to choose from:
- Basil-Lime Chicken: http://www.mykitchenescapades.com/2013/04/basil-lime-chicken.html
- Beef Sirloin Fresh Herb Marinade: http://paleoleap.com/beef-sirloin-fresh-herb-marinade/
- Chimichurri Sauce: http://laughingspatula.com/chimichurri-sauce/
- Apple cider vinaigrette/marinade: http://detoxinista.com/2013/07/raw-apple-cider-vinaigrette/
- Don’t burn your meats! Keep an eye on them, and choose cooler areas of the grill to cook with.
Combine the Right Foods for a Health-boosting Effect
Did you know, eating 1/3 of an avocado with your burger can actually reverse the inflammation that is normally promoted by eating the burger alone? Isn’t that just brilliant?! Also, adding an antioxidant spice blend, such as clove, cinnamon, oregano, rosemary, ginger, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder, to your hamburger mix drastically reduces the amounts of certain compounds that are linked with heart disease and cancer. Even better! These are just a couple of ways in which you can combine foods to create an overall anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect – I’m sure you’re starting to get the idea…
So, as you’re eating your marinated and spiced meats, combine them with a bounty of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory foods, like deeply colored vegetables, spices and herbs, and you’ll have turned your meal into a health-boosting feast!
Here are some ideas if you want to create some of your own super side-dishes and condiments:
- Seven Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Vinaigrette: http://soupaddict.com/2014/04/seven-layer-salad-creamy-salsa-vinaigrette/
- Summer corn, black bean and avocado salad: http://www.produceonparade.com/produce-on-parade/summer-corn-avocado-black-bean-salad
- Homemade BBQ sauce: http://paleogrubs.com/bbq-sauce-recipe
Do Decadent Desserts that You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty About
Last but not least, don’t forget dessert! Try our very own red-white-and-blue Berry-Coconut Parfait that will leave you completely satisfied AND feeling great about yourself.
Ott C, Jacobs K, Haucke E, Navarrete Santos A, Grune T, Simm A. Role of advanced glycation end products in cellular signaling. Redox Biol. 2014 Jan 9;2:411-29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24624331
Uribarri J1, Woodruff S, Goodman S, Cai W, Chen X, Pyzik R, Yong A, Striker GE, Vlassara H. Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jun;110(6):911-16.e12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/
Li Z, Wong A, Henning SM, Zhang Y, Jones A, Zerlin A, Thames G, Bowerman S, Tseng CH, Heber D. Hass avocado modulates postprandial vascular reactivity and postprandial inflammatory responses to a hamburger meal in healthy volunteers. Food Funct. 2013 Feb 26;4(3):384-91. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23196671
Li Z, Henning SM, Zhang Y, Zerlin A, Li L, Gao K, Lee RP, Karp H, Thames G, Bowerman S, Heber D. Antioxidant-rich spice added to hamburger meat during cooking results in reduced meat, plasma, and urine malondialdehyde concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1180-4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20335545
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