Well, here’s our own Picnic and Potluck version of Eat This, Not That. If you know you’re going to indulge, why not indulge a little more sensibly? Here are some categories with the clear-cut winners. Keep in mind that individual recipes may vary in calories, fat and carbohydrate content.
Potato Salad or Macaroni Salad? Go for the potato salad. It has 358 calories, 21 grams fat and 28 grams carbohydrate for a 1-cup serving, where a cup of macaroni salad has 550 calories, 48 grams fat and 29 grams carbs.
Hot Dog or Burger? They’re actually pretty close. The burger wins by just a nudge. It has 304 calories, 12 grams fat and 21 grams carbohydrates. The hot dog has 308 calories, 19 grams fat and 24 carbs. These numbers include buns. If you really want to come out ahead, though, go with a grilled chicken breast (no bun) for 142 calories, 3 grams fat and zero carbs!
Baked Beans or Cole Slaw? This one’s easy! One cup of cole slaw has 83 calories, 3 grams fat and 26 carbohydrates—and this is for slaw made without reduced-fat mayo! Baked beans contain 382 calories, 13 grams fat and 54 carbs.
Bottom line? If you made the good choices—potato salad, chicken breast and coleslaw, your totals would be 583 calories, 27 grams fat and 54 grams carbohydrates. If you gave in to temptation and chose macaroni salad, baked beans and a hot dog with a bun, you’d end up with 1,240 total calories, 80 grams fat and 107 grams carbohydrates.
There’s no need to sacrifice pleasure when you’re at a picnic this summer. But with just a few smart choices, you can make a real difference in your diet!