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The observance of Memorial Day to remember and respect those lost in the line of military duty has, over the decades, become a way for friends and family to reconnect and pay their respects as a group. A gathering always means food, which means you have some decisions to make if you’re hosting this weekend’s gathering. It may be tempting to load up on fatty, sugary foods, but here are five healthy substitutes you can add to your spread.

  1. Guacamole – Skip the cheese dip and go with this tried-and-true dip. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), fat-soluble antioxidants, omega-3s and almost every vitamin letter you can name. You can add virtually anything you want to a guacamole recipe, including black beans, pineapple, balsamic vinegar, red onion and more. Mix it up!Guacamole
  2. Roasted Asparagus – Instead of French fries on the side, go with this fiber-loaded vegetable. Asparagus is also packed full of folate and vitamins A,C and K. Prep a hot pan with olive oil and minced garlic before adding the stalks and cooking until the skin begins to blister. Garnish with salt and serve.Grilled Asparagus on White Plate using Selective Focus
  3. Grilled Shrimp – This delectable seafood is a great way to get protein into your diet without the guilt of fat that comes with red meat. On average, one ounce of shrimp features just 30 calories and has 6g of protein. Shrimp are also full of B-vitamins and vitamin D. Marinade and dress them however you wish to match the cuisine’s theme.Grill prawns Large Shrimps on Skewer
  4. Red Sangria – Light, refreshing and undeniably summer, sangria is a great way to give guests an alcoholic option without loading them up with sugar. Be sure to fill your pitcher with plenty of limes, oranges and lemons to give your adult beverage a healthy dose of vitamin C.Homemade Delicious Red Sangria
  5. Yogurt Pops – Cool and refreshingly sweet, frozen yogurt pops make a great dessert option without the sugar and fat of normal popsicles. Take your favorite non-fat yogurt, fill up a freeze pop or ice cube tray, add some store-bought wooden sticks and wait for them to freeze. You might even add in a kick of protein with our hydrolyzed collagen peptides!BLUEBERRY YOGURT POPS

You can serve a Memorial Day weekend meal from beginning to end without over-indulging and expanding your waistline. Consider substituting ingredients or replacing sugary, fatty menu items for lean, heart-healthy options. The result? You and your guests will be full, content and happy on this reflective, important holiday. Share some of your Memorial Day recipes with us in the comments below!