Summer’s rolling in and most of us want to feel and look our best. But when it comes to eating healthy, things can get a bit tricky. The first step is to alter your eating habits for the season.

Is a 100-calorie snack pack better for you than a snack bag of dried mixed fruit? It’s debatable, so here are some guidelines to help you understand the enigma that is fattening health foods.

1. Sushi Rolls


Photo by Santina Renzi

A spring and summertime favorite, sushi is packed with pretty much whatever you want. The vegetable roll usually contains a combination of avocado, cucumber and rice. So is sushi really a healthy option?

Yes and no. Like many of the foods on this list there are positive and negative aspects of eating sushi. It all depends on what you order.

Pick a roll that contains a lot of fish to take in more omega-3’s and unsaturated fats to help boost brain power and protect the heart. Whatever you do, stay away from tempura or anything fried – your waistline will thank you. For more tips on health-fying your sushi check out this Spoon article.

2. Dried Fruit


Photo courtesy of Faron Business Developments

The best thing about dried fruit is that there are so many options. They also don’t have an expiration date like regular fruit does, which saves you time and money. Take a minute to count how many pieces of fruit are rotting in your fridge. Yep, that’s what I thought.

Dried fruits are higher in calories because they have lower water concentration, so it’s important to be aware of the serving size. FYI, one cup of fresh fruit is equivalent to half a cup of dried fruit.

Peaches may not be an obvious choice but they are one of the healthiest options with over 34% of your daily vitamin A intake. Learn how to make your own dehydrated fruit here.

3. Salad Toppings


Photo courtesy of Cava Grill

You may be under the impression that all salads are healthy. Well, my good friend, you are wrong. Take a minute to let that sink in.

Ok, now let’s discuss the details. Salads are healthy to an extent. But some of us are guilty of drowning our plates of lettuce or mixed greens with tons of fatty toppings like cheese and thick or creamy dressings. It’s like eating icing on a cucumber slice. Not good. Learn how to build the perfect salad here and even make your own healthy dressing.

4. Coconut


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In some cases, coconut contains more saturated fat than butter. Yikes. Be careful not to clog your arteries with this one but if you must have your dark chocolate coconut bars then rest easy knowing the positive effect it has on heart disease risk factors.

5. Black Olives


Photo by Lily Allen

This salty snack has a decent serving of healthy fat. More importantly are the benefits which range from reducing bone loss to cancer prevention. To keep the sodium on the low, keep the serving size between 5 to 20 olives. Check out our guide for more olive info.

6. Ground Flaxseeds


Photo by Abby Farley

This may be the first time you have ever seen this word. That’s ok. Now it’s time to embrace and reap the benefits of this seed. The healthy fat count may be high per cup but you only need 1 or 2 tablespoons to supercharge your food with this awesome fiber source. Try some in your oatmeal.

7. Steak


Photo by Emily Waples

Steak is often mistaken for a fatty food. It really comes down to the quality and type of meat you buy. To make sure this protein and iron source is the healthiest version possible buy lean cuts and never eat the fatty ends. Do it all for under $10.

8. Fatty Fish


Photo courtesy of Potluck Creative

Fatty fish like salmon and tuna can help lower your cholesterol when eaten in moderation. Again, we are citing omega-3 fatty acids as a source to combat this health issue. More important than the type of fish is its quality. You can learn the tricks to picking out the best fish here.

9. Dark Chocolate


Photo by Jennifer Cao

There are ton’s of benefits of eating dark chocolate. It’s good for your brain, and for all the lonely souls out there. If you’re gonna have chocolate, dark is the way to go since it has more antioxidants, less sugar and less fat than white or milk chocolate.