Denver Cardiologist: Heart Healthy Party Ideas for Summer

Summer is the season of pool parties, neighborhood BBQ’s, weddings, and festivals. With so many events, it is easy to ditch your healthy habits in favor of massive spreads of food and sweet desserts. When hosting a summer bash, celebrate wellness with these tips from Denver cardiologists for a healthier summer party.

There is no need to ditch crowd favorites altogether when trying to serve a healthy meal for your guests. Start smart with lighter appetizers. Not only will you save some calories and have low-fat options, but impress your guests when you forego standard chips and dips for fresh snacks like these easy Tomato-Basil Skewers (http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/healthy-summer-appetizers#slide-11) or easy Edamame Hummus (http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/12/edamame-hummus) served with endive spears.

For the main course, try a DIY option to suit any diet. Choose a classic summer meal like burgers that can be prepared individually. Cut fat by picking a leaner meat like 90 to 95 percent lean ground beef, chicken or turkey breast, bison, fish, or even Portobello mushrooms as vegetarian options. Provide your guests with the option to forgo the bun altogether and wrap their burger in large pieces of lettuce, and healthier toppings like avocados, lots of fresh vegetables, low-fat cheese, and a tasty sauces like BBQ or fresh salsa to jazz up their meal instead of mayonnaise.

Summer is great for light desserts because you can feature fruity options with little to no added sugar. Skip high fat ice cream and opt for low fat sorbets and ice pops. These are even better options when homemade because you can control the amount of sugar. Try these easy Green Apple Ice Pops (http://www.rachaelraymag.com/Recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/dessert-recipes/green-apple-ice-pop) or these tasty Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/minted-watermelon-lemon-ice-pops-10000001988531/).

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Incorporate some of these tips into your next party, and your healthy event will be a success! You will keep your guests happy and you and your family healthy with light, fresh food.