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5 Summer Diet Blunders

Do your favorite summer treats pack a wallop in fat and calories? Here's how to lighten them up.

Summer Diet Blunder 3: Burgers and Hot Dogs

Some baseball fans can't watch a game without a traditional hot dog. But a Dodger dog, a long-time tradition at Los Angeles Dodger games, packs 240 calories and 22 grams of fat - and that's just the dog, without the bun, ketchup, or other add-ons. Of the 240 calories, 200 of them are from fat. And at backyard barbecues, cheeseburgers often play a starring role. Figure 360 calories with the bun - and nearly 20 grams of fat.

Summer Diet Fix

To lighten up, consider a turkey frank on a roll, for about 190 calories and 10 grams of fat. Or a veggie burger and bun, for about 180 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. Two other healthy options include a chicken breast without the skin, or grilled fish such as grilled salmon.

And at the baseball park, says Sandon, if you find yourself considering the burger or hot dog fare: "Health-wise, you are probably better off with peanuts," Sandon says. They aren't low-calorie, she says, but at least peanuts have heart-healthy fat.

Summer Diet Blunder 4: Frothy Coffee Drinks

Those frosty coffee drinks like frappuccinos seem like a great summertime treat, right? After all, most of us need our caffeine fix.

Brace yourself. "They can run 300 to 700 calories," says Sandon. Especially if you believe that the bigger the coffee, the better. Case in point: Starbucks Orange Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee, promoted as a great way to start your summer day (especially when paired with reduced-fat Orange Crème Coffee Cake). But if you order their "Venti" size (24 oz), it's 520 calories and 16 grams of fat. Add another 320 calories and 8 grams of fat if you succumb to the coffee cake.

Summer Diet Fix

But there are tasty, lower-calorie, and lower-fat -- or even nonfat -- alternatives, Sandon says. Starbucks points those conscious of summer diets to other choices. A 16-oz. Starbucks latte made with nonfat milk delivers no fat and just 160 calories.  At any coffee house, Sandon says, you can order a latte with skim or nonfat milk.

Summer Diet Blunder 5: Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt

It's 95 degrees in the shade, and you need ice cream now. But not just any ice cream will do. You're thinking a 4-oz scoop of Baskin-Robbins Baseball Nut ice cream. That'll hit it out of the park, with 270 calories and 14 grams of fat.

Summer Diet Fix

"You have to pick nonfat or low-fat yogurt to get any kind of decent calorie savings over ice cream," Sandon says. Switch to a 4-oz scoop of vanilla nonfat yogurt - though probably not as much fun - for 150 calories with 0 grams fat. Another option: "Try a fruit-flavored frozen treat," Sandon says. A fruit-flavored treat on a stick, she says, has about 60 calories.

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