What to eat at the beach

June 25, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Alexandra Briguglio, holistic health coach and founder and editor of Chickagoan.com, joined us in our ABC7 studio with food suggestions to avoid bloating, water retention and short term weight gain.

You can also get more information from reading "Eat This, Not That! 2011" by David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding.

1. Best Drink - HINT Water
0 Fat, 0 Cals, 0 Sugar
By drinking water, you keep your body flushed out and your skin looking healthy. Since Hint uses natural flavors, you earn all the boons of hydration without suffering the downsides of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Avoid Diet Coke - 0 Fat, 0 Cals, 0 Sugar
The carbon dioxide that supplies soda's fizz will continue to burble and expand in your stomach, priming you for serious bloat!

2. Best Snack - Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno chips with salsa
1 oz. chips/2 T. salsa - 150 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 340 mg sodium
This is a high-fiber tortilla chips with low-calorie salsa. The perfect quality snack.

Avoid broccoli with ranch dressing - 170 calories, 14.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 370 mg sodium
Although broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, you might want to hold off your day's broccoli until you're off the beach. This vegetable has a sugar called raffinose which can make you feel bloated and gassy. Not the best for beach photos!

3. Best Dessert - fruit salad of banana, mango and papaya
1 cup - 78 calories, 0g fat, 14g sugar
Refreshing, very few calories and you give your body real sugar.

Avoid Russell Stover's Sugar Free Toffee Squares - 210 calories, 16 g fat (9 g saturated), 0 g sugar
Although sugar-free sounds appealing, the sugar alcohol and saturated fat in these products can't be absorbed in our body as easily. For some people, this causes severe discomfort and bloating. Stick with real fruit and avoid the problem entirely.

4. Best Dinner - Birds Eye Voila! Shrimp Scampi
1.75 cups - 190 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 540 mg sodium
You need to watch your sodium intake before the beach, because sodium is an electrolyte that tells your body to withhold water and cause water retention. Nobody wants to carry extra water weight on the beach and look puffy!

Avoid Stouffer's Skillets Easy Express Broccoli & Beef - 350 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 1,660 mg sodium
Although this meal offers broccoli and beef for a fairy low amount of calories, if you eat the whole bag, you've just exceeded your day's allotment of sodium by nearly 50 percent!

Cooking for yourself is by far the best way to control your calorie intake and nutrition. Restaurants have up to 60 percent more calories per serving. Although you may be tempted to eat out before or at the beach, packing your cooler is the best way to go.

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