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Avoid Bringing These Foods to the Beach

By Trish Clasen, Junior Writer
July 25, 2012; 12:24 PM ET
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Flickr/Brian Shoots

With sunshine and high temperatures in the forecast, it's getting harder for anyone to deny that summer is here. This means that it's time for everyone to open up the pool, host a few barbecue parties, and head on over to the beach. But before you make your way to the shore, don't forget to fill your beach bag with some snacks. After all, you are bound to get hungry while you're building sandcastles and soaking up the sun. However, before you just start throwing random things from your pantry into your beach bag, you might want to check out our list of foods to avoid bringing to the beach:

Ice Cream: Before you start stocking the portable cooler with your favorite pints of ice cream, step outside for a minute. Feel how hot it is? If you are covered in a layer of sweat within five minutes, how long do you think your frozen ice cream is going to last in the hot sun? Even with the most advanced cooler, your ice cream is bound to start melting.

Limes: Too much sun will do more than melt your ice cream. Spending time outdoors without sunscreen normally results in sunburn. But you probably know that already. Did you know that certain foods increase your sensitivity to the sun, increasing your likelihood of getting sunburnt? Coming into contact with a lime peel may produce an intense burn. Celery, dill, fennel, parsley, figs, and carrots are also classified as sunburn boosters. However, these foods are more threatening when touched, not eaten. For that reason, you don't have to avoid limes completely. Just remember to avoid touching the ones that are in your margaritas and mai-tais.

Hard Salted Pretzels and Other Salty Foods: Yes, too much sun melts your ice cream and gives you sunburn. However, it can also make you dehydrated. While you drink water to stay hydrated, make sure to avoid eating foods that are packed with sodium. Eating hard salted pretzels, french fries, and other salty foods will likely accelerate the rate at which you become dehydrated, and no one wants that to happen.

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Sandwiches: Sandwiches are easy to make beforehand; it takes little effort to squeeze them into a Ziploc bag and tuck them away in a cooler. Yet, bread, cold cuts, and cheese topped the Centers for Disease Control's list of the top sources of sodium. While sodium, as we just explained before, can lead to dehydration, it can also lead to bloating. Who wants to feel bloated while wearing a barely-there bathing suit on the beach? Not us.

Five-Course Meals: Yes, you're building sandcastles, complete with trenches and towers. That doesn't mean that you have to eat like royalty, though. You are at the beach to play in the sand, swim in the ocean, and work on your tan, not to spend time eating a five-course meal. Besides, cutting a piece of steak while balancing a plate on your lap and sitting on a beach blanket can be quite challenging.

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