Summer is here and it’s time to hit the beach! Whether you’re planning a day trip or a weekend getaway, it’s important to bring the right snacks and drinks to keep you energized and hydrated. Unfortunately, some of the most popular beach snacks are actually some of the worst foods you can bring. From sugary drinks to processed snacks, these foods can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. In this article, we’ll discuss the worst foods to bring to the beach this summer and provide healthier alternatives so you can enjoy your time in the sun without sacrificing your health.
Worst Foods To Bring To The Beach This Summer — Eat This Not That
Summer is the perfect time to hit the beach and soak up some sun. But if you’re planning a beach day, it’s important to think about what food you’ll bring. While it’s tempting to bring unhealthy snacks, it’s best to avoid them and opt for healthier options. Here are some of the worst foods to bring to the beach this summer — and what you should eat instead.
Worst Foods To Bring To The Beach
- Chips: Chips are high in fat and calories, and they can be messy to eat on the beach. Instead, opt for a healthier snack like air-popped popcorn or whole-grain crackers.
- Sugary Drinks: Sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks are full of empty calories and can cause dehydration. Instead, bring a water bottle and fill it up with fresh fruit for a refreshing and healthy drink.
- Ice Cream: Ice cream is a classic beach treat, but it’s full of sugar and fat. Instead, opt for a frozen fruit bar or a smoothie.
- Fried Foods: Fried foods like french fries and chicken tenders are high in fat and calories. Instead, bring a grilled chicken sandwich or a veggie wrap.
Healthier Alternatives To Bring To The Beach
- Fruit: Fresh fruit is a great snack to bring to the beach. It’s full of vitamins and minerals, and it’s easy to eat on the go. Try bringing apples, oranges, or grapes.
- Nuts: Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats. Try bringing a bag of almonds, walnuts, or cashews to the beach.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a great snack to bring to the beach. It’s full of protein and calcium, and it’s easy to eat on the go. Try bringing a plain Greek yogurt and adding your own fresh fruit.
- Veggies: Veggies are a great snack to bring to the beach. They’re full of vitamins and minerals, and they’re easy to eat on the go. Try bringing carrots, celery, or bell peppers.
When it comes to beach snacks, it’s important to choose wisely. Avoid unhealthy snacks like chips and ice cream, and opt for healthier alternatives like fruit, nuts, yogurt, and veggies. With these tips, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious beach day!
I’m a big fan of picnics on the beach. Cold sandwiches, pasta salads, even Italian ice from the ice cream truck—all are meat to enjoy under the summer sun. However, while I do have a few suggestions based on foods to avoid while on the beach, I admit these are subjective and you should do what works best for you and your summer taste buds.
In my opinion, the worst foods to bring to the beach are the ones that are dehydrating. If you’re spending a majority of your day under the heat of the sun, the last thing you want to do is make your dehydration worse. Why eat something that will only exacerbate your dehydration levels even further? Or make you feel sluggish when you want to be having fun?
Dehydration occurs when your body excretes more fluids than you take in, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you don’t have enough water or other fluids in your body, your normal body functioning can take a toll. One study in Nutrients found that young adults with higher salt intake had poor hydration status. When salty foods are consumed, too much sodium enters the bloodstream, causing your body to accumulate more water as well. As a result, your kidneys will produce more urine.
Below you will find a list of foods that are dehydrating, or seem just a bit too complicated to bring with you for a day at the beach. I’ve also offered up solutions so you can have hydrating options for fun under the sun. Here’s what to avoid—and what to pack—and for even more picnic tips, check out our list of 29+ Best Picnic Recipes for Eating Outside.
Deli meats are known to have a high sodium count—the average serving of honey ham can have 500 milligrams or more. Instead, keep your sodium count low and choose to make a veggie sandwich or wrap it with hydrating vegetables. You could even spread on some hummus, which is also low in sodium and increases the protein count for your meal. Other options include this Quick Caprese Sandwich, this Chicken Salad Sandwich with Raisins and Curry Powder, or even stuff some whole-wheat pitas with this Curried Egg Salad.
Salty snacks like chips are certainly a fun treat, but if you’re looking for a hydrating solution, go for other types of snacks. For example, fruits are a refreshing option for the beach, and cut-up vegetables dipped in hummus or guacamole will also work well!
In that same wheelhouse, fried foods also have a high sodium count that can make you feel dehydrated. Plus, your energy levels will be depleted after a meal of fried foods. Another study from Nutrients points out that foods that are higher in fat can cause daytime sleepiness, meaning you may feel sluggish during your beach day.
Instead, why not focus some meals around these 30 Foods That Give You All-Day Energy?
Similar to salt, foods and drinks high in sugar can also have a dehydrating effect on the body due to how they are metabolized. When sugar is consumed, the body uses more water to try and metabolize it, increasing urination as well, according to Medical News Today.
Plus, if you’re choosing sugary beverages over water, your blood sugar levels will spike and fall quickly, making you feel sluggish throughout the day as well. For a more hydrating option that isn’t just water, why not choose an unsweetened iced tea or a low-sugar kombucha?
This one is more about common sense than health. Why eat a hot meal on the beach, especially if it required microwaving and carrying it to your destination? Not only will the meal likely be lukewarm by that point, but it won’t be very pleasant to eat.
Chilled foods that can sit in your cooler are certainly the way to go. Craving pasta? Make this Mediterranean Caprese Pasta Salad or this Vegetarian Pesto Gnocchi.