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Healthy Twists On Traditional Fourth Of July Calorie Bombs

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Fourth of July celebrations can make us feel like it's practically an American obligation to enjoy the outdoors, fireworks and, of course, delicious food. And when it comes to this patriotic holiday, tradition is everything.

As early as 1777, large dinners were being organized in Philadelphia to celebrate the one year anniversary of American independence. During the years that followed, Fourth of July celebrations only grew, evolving into a mix of public and private celebrations -- often conducted outdoors. On July 9, 1812 The Maryland Gazette recounted “a handsome dinner prepared by Mr. Isaac Parker, on the College [St. John’s] Green, under the shade of that majestic Poplar.”

Although we might not mark our community events by specific trees, most of us certainly get into the Fourth of July spirit with an outdoor celebration (or two) in the company of friends and family. If you are focused on eating well, though, Independence Day can be a minefield of sodium, fat and calories, served up on an American flag plate. However, you can have your (red, white and blue) cake and eat it too -- by making healthy choices.

We turned to the experts to put together a list of some Fourth of July classics, each with a healthful twist. Check out these ideas to get inspired for the long holiday weekend.

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