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Tips on Diet Foods for Summer

Try these fruits of summer for good health - and weight loss.

Beans

Mainstays in the vegetarian diet, beans are an excellent substitute for meat. These tiny tasty nuggets are a great source of protein, chock-full of fiber and capable of filling you up with very few calories. They come ready-to-eat in the can or frozen, or dried for slow cooking. (Tip: Take digestive enzymes such as Beano to minimize the gas that is often a side effect of eating beans.)

1. Have several varieties of canned beans in your cupboard (or frozen in your freezer) to toss into salads, soups, stews, pasta, salsa, or rice dishes.
2. Dried beans must be soaked in water for several hours or overnight to rehydrate them before cooking.
3. Make a quick high-fiber, high-protein salad with a variety of drained and rinsed canned beans (pinto, chickpeas, and black beans) and light Italian salad dressing.

Recipe idea: Drain cans of black beans and corn, toss together with a jar of salsa, juice from a fresh lime, a dash of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for a nutritious salsa to eat with grilled fish or baked chips.

Mango

This delectable brilliant orange fruit is juicy, sweet, and tart. Mangoes are high in fiber and a rich source of potassium and vitamins A and C, with only 135 calories for the entire fruit. The center pit makes it a bit tricky to slice up but the extra effort is worth it.

1. Increase your intake of potassium the easy way. Simply slice up a mango and eat.
2. Chop mangoes then toss into salsas or chutneys for a tropical treat on grilled fish.
3. Stock your pantry with mango juice for a quick and nutritious smoothie or refreshing mango-lime spritzer.
4. Put spoon-sliced mangoes on top of pancakes, waffles, French toast, whole-grain cereal, salads, cakes, yogurt, and puddings.

Recipe idea: Drain cans of black beans and corn, toss together with a jar of salsa, juice from a fresh lime, a dash of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for a nutritious salsa to eat with grilled fish or baked chips.

Water

Most of us don't get enough of this precious stuff, especially in the summer when it's easy to get dehydrated in the hot weather. Nothing quenches your thirst quite like a glass of water and there are no calories whatsoever!

1. Don't rely on thirst; this sensation diminishes with age. Drink often and choose from nutritious liquids, including 100% fruit and vegetable juices, skim or low-fat milk, broths, sparkling water, and teas.
2. You can also get fluids from foods, especially those that are liquid or nearly so at room temperature. Try gelatin, frozen yogurt, soups, watermelon, pickles, oranges, lettuce, and tomatoes.
3. Jazz up zero-calorie plain or sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice, slices of citrus, or rounds of cucumber for a refreshing beverage.

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Reviewed on June 26, 2007

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