Healthy Summer Treats

by Alanna Downey

The best way to beat the heat of the summer is to enjoy a cold and refreshing treat! Most people would run straight to get his/her favorite ice cream or milkshake flavor to achieve this relief.  This is a great idea for once and a while, but consuming ice cream everyday has its setbacks.  Some ice cream sundaes can contain as many calories and saturated fat as a one pound rack of ribs!1

One study looked at the effects the over-consumption of ice cream had on the brain.  The results showed that eating an overabundance of energy dense foods (ice cream) lessens the area of the brain that controls rewards for a specific food, as in this case ice cream.2  Another conclusion from the study was that weight gain by the participants was an effect of the weakened area of the brain.

If you occasionally splurge and have a cone of ice cream do not be worried!  There are also companies that produce ice cream that is low in calories and fat, these can be found in most grocery stores! For those who want to switch up their ice cream routine or have a new summer treat try one of the ideas below!

Refreshing Treat Ideas!3

  1. Fruit Kabobs: Get your favorite summer fruits and cut them up into fun shapes! Place them on a skewer and enjoy, you can also grill them to enhance the flavor!
  2. Frozen Grapes: Putting your grapes in the freezer transforms them into a new delicious treat that is bound to put a smile on your face!  Simply wash some grapes and stick them in a container in the freezer.
  3. Homemade Ice Pops: This is a great substitute for ice cream!  You can make these fruity, chocolate or whatever you like!  Making them at home allows you to control what goes into the pop.
  4. Grilled Fruit: Some fruits that are perfect for grilling are peaches, bananas, and pineapple. The heat allows all the sugars to cook! You can top these delicious fruits with some whipped cream or yogurt for the perfect summer dessert.
  5. Chocolate Dipped Fruits: If you love chocolate this is a great idea to satisfy that craving!  Choose your favorite fruits (some good ones are watermelon, banana, orange, strawberry, and apple) and melt some chocolate chips.  Then simple dip them and place them in the freezer to harden.  You can even put them on a popsicle stick to be like an ice cream pop!

References

  1. Johnston L. “The Fat Facts on Ice Cream.” CBS News. 2003.
  2. Burger KS, Stice E. Frequent Ice Cream Consumption is associated with reduced striatal response to receipt of an ice cream- based milkshake. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012;95(4):810-7.
  3. Klein S. “100 Calorie Snacks: 16 Refreshing Healthy Summer Eats”. The Huffington Post. 2013.
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