Best of worst -- July 4th foods

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

NEW YORK (CBS) -- Face it -- few among us can resist the temptation to dig in when that food starts coming off the grill at a July 4th get-together.

But, points out registered dietician Keri Glassman, some foods simply aren't as bad as others for you -- even when neither is exactly healthy.

So, on The Early Show Tuesday, Glassman had words to the wise on ways to try to go when you inevitably indulge in those holiday dishes.

Their calories are about the same, but chicken breast is higher in protein and lower in sodium than wings, so breasts would be the healthier choice.

BEST: Fried Chicken Breast (6 oz)
443 calories, 23g fat, 469mg sodium, 15g carbs, 42g protein

WORST: BBQ Chicken Wings -- dark meat (6 oz)
467 calories, 20g fat, 1826mg sodium, 45g carbs, 26g protein

Usually, I would say, 'Skip the mayo,' but in this case -- all that fat and sugar from the pork ribs forces me to say -- go for the mayo dish!

BEST: Lobster Roll (6 oz. portion of lobster, 1 tbsp. light mayo, 1 hot dog roll)
375 calories, 8g fat, 1050mg sodium, 31.5g carbs, 41g protein

WORST: Pork Ribs (6 oz.) with 3 tbsp. Bulls Eye BBQ sauce
540 calories, 26g fat, 950mg sodium, 23g carbs, 46g protein

For the sodium alone, SKIP the sausage!

BEST: Corn Dog Jumbo (6 oz.)
375 Calories, 21 g fat, 1170 g sodium

WORST: Pork Sausage no toppings (6 oz.)
586 Calories, 46.5 g fat, 2057 g sodium

Cotton candy is lower in calories, but it's all from sugar!

BEST: Cotton Candy (1.5 oz serving)
171 calories, 0g fat, 45g carbs, 45g sugar, 0g protein

WORST: Candy Apple (6.5 oz apple)
280 calories, 0g fat, 60g carbs, 50g sugar, 4.3g fiber, 2.2g protein

BEST: Bloody Mary (5 oz)
125 calories, 0g fat, 32mg sodium, 4.5 carbs, 17 g alchohol

WORST: Mojito (5 oz)
217 calories, 0g fat, 0g sodium, 8.4 carbs, 26g alcohol

Go for the smallest portion possible of the one you are craving!

Look how many calories are in a small piece!:

BEST: Blueberry Pie (1/8 of 9 " pie)
360 calories, 20g fat, 270mg sodium, 50g carbs, 8g fiber, 4g protein

WORST:Strawberry Shortcake (1/8 of cake)
420 calories, 25g fat, 250mg sodium, 45g carbs, 3g fiber, 6g protein

Better and Worse

One two-ounce Oscar Myer Hot Dog on Wonder Bun with one tbsp French's classic yellow mustard and Heinz ketchup -- 305 calories, 17.5g fat, 7g sat fat

Worse: Ground Beef Burger on Wonder Bun -- 430 calories, 29.5g fat, 11g sat fat

Take-Home Point: Portion-controlled hot dogs, as opposed to burgers, can add up to fewer calories. Most people would think a hot dog would be the worse choice, but hot dogs prove to be the best of the worst.

Better: Two tbsp Heinz Sweet Relish -- 20 calories, 0 g fat, 95 mg sodium, 3 sugars

Worse: Two tbsp. Heinz Ketchup -- 40 calories, 0g fat, 380 mg sodium, 8g sugar

Take-Home Point: Condiments can add up fast! Adding ketchup may seem harmless, but relish is half the calories.

Better: Four tbsp Santa Barbara Mild Guacamole and 15 Tostitos Tortilla chips -- 220 calories, 14g fat, 1g sat fat, 280mg sodium, 4g protein

Worse: Four tbsp Lays French Onion Dip and 10 Multigrain Pita Chips -- 240 calories, 16g fat, 4.5g sat fat, 700 mg sodium, 5g protein

Take-Home Point: It's a toss-up -- when choosing high calorie snack foods, choose nutrient dense ones such as guacamole, to at least add some nutritional value (healthy fat)

Better: Corn on the Cob with one tsp. butter -- 155 calories, 3.4g fat, 1.6g sat fat, 32g carbs, 4.5g protein

Worse: Mixed Bean Salad (one cup mixed beans with 3 tbsp. Italian dressing) -- 394 calories, 19g fat, 0 g sat fat, 41g carbs, 13g protein

Take-Home Point: Be in control -- corn on the cob is portioned for you and only you can decide how much butter to add. Mixed and pre-prepared salads can add loads of extra calories from dressings and oils.

Better: DoveBar Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Ice Cream (78g bar) -- 260 calories, 17g fat, 11g sat fat, 26g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g protein

Worse: One serving homemade Peach Cobbler -- 338 calories, 17g fat, 8g sat fat, 44g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g protein

Take-Home Message: Just because it contains fruit doesn't mean it's better for you! Portioned ice cream bars are a better low-calorie option next to homemade pies and cobblers, especially ones made with butter and shortening-laden crusts.

Better: Red Wine Sangria (6 oz.) -- 149 calories, 7mg sodium, 22g carbs

Worse: Margarita (Six oz.) 350 calories, 800mg sodium, 20g carbs

Take-Home Message: Wine-based drinks are still a lower-calorie option next to fruity, mixed cocktails. Margaritas pack twice the calories next to a refreshing glass of sangria.

CBS News

contributed to this report.