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Happy July 4th! It’s that time of year again – I encourage all of you to spend your day outside enjoying the summer sun with family, friends, fireworks, and, of course, food.

I’ll be focusing on 4th of July food in this post – I have three main points to address concerning the holiday diet:

  • Overeating
  • Alternatives to condiments
  • Health benefits of antioxidants


4th of July food is awesome, but like any other American holiday, we often consume foods in excess. There’s so much great food at a 4th of July cookout: hotdogs, burgers, potato chips, ice cream… and, of course, a refreshing lemonade or beer!

But there’s often regret after a too-large meal on these days. One too many burgers, beers, or chips will leave you feeling stuffed and even a bit sick.

That’s why my #1 tip to cut down on calories this holiday is to literally CUT DOWN on what you’re putting in your mouth.

Don’t eat three burgers when just one will satisfy you.


Another great way to cut down on calories?

It’s as simple as switching up your condiments.

Let’s look at two of the most basic cookout condiments: ketchup and mayonnaise.

1 tablespoon of ketchup has:

  • 5 g carbs
  • 7 g sugar
  • 19 calories

1 tablespoon of mayonnaise has:

  • 10 g fat
  • 88 mg sodium
  • 94 calories

I’m willing to bet the average person uses more than just one tablespoon of each of these condiments on a burger or hotdog. That means you’re consuming about 200/300 calories of condiments alone each burger or hotdog you eat!

The alternative I’m suggesting to you will add flavor and cut down on calories: spices and herbs!

Some spices and herbs Dr. Michael Greger recommends in his book, How Not to Die, include cayenne pepper, oregano, cloves, fenugreek, smoked paprika, garlic, and pepper.

Feel free to mix spices as you choose or look for pre-made mixes including the spices I’ve listed above. My family’s favorite burger seasoning is McCormick’s Montreal Steak.

As for sauces, be creative! Use anything from a basil pesto to a homemade spicy sriracha to a milder avocado-based sauce. The avocado sauce idea caught my eye and I’d mix it up with some lime juice, a bit of sour cream, and garlic.


There’s an added bonus to having spices in your diet. Dr. Greger describes it best; “ounce for ounce, [herbs and spices] have more antioxidants than any other food group”.

Why are antioxidants important to your body? They manage the detrimental affects of oxidation, the breakdown of cells, in the body. The detrimental affects oxidation can cause include diseases like heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants have the ability to control these free radicals and prevent them from negatively affecting healthy cells.

To read more about antioxidants and oxidation, click the link below. It’s a basic but thorough explanation of both and how they relate within the body.


Whether it be trying a new burger seasoning or avoiding overeating, try something new with your diet this 4th of July. Happy grilling!

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