10 Ways to Cut Calories

A Special Feature from eDiets.com

Healthnotes Newswire (February 14, 2008)—Before heading to the kitchen, remind yourself that you can lighten up (and lose weight without trying) by merely cutting calories you won’t even miss. Instead of full-fat mayonnaise, reach for fat-free. Instead of whole milk, get acquainted with some very tasty nonfat substitutes. For most full-fat dairies, dressings and dips in the marketplace, there are acceptable alternatives. You name it, they make it with a lower fat and calorie profile, and it tastes good.

Review your recipe file with a fresh eye. Rethink your kitchen experience—from the way you cook it to the type of pans you use—and apply these slimming solutions.

1. Nonstick: Stock up on nonstick pans for baking and grilling, breads and cookies, sautéing and even for soup. Nonstick is one of life’s little pleasures because you don’t need oil. Instead use a little cooking spray, wine, water or juice.

2. Method: Bake, broil, grill, poach or sauté foods instead of deep-frying.

3. Reduce: Simply reduce the amount of fat and/or sugar in your recipes. For example, replace half the oil with applesauce or fruit puree for an equally moist muffin or cake; use one-third less sugar in cakes or cookies and use dried fruit, not sugar, to add sweetness to cereal. Experiment with sucralose (Splenda) for baking.

4. Baste: Instead of basting the turkey with butter or margarine, cut the saturated, and especially trans fat, by basting with flavorful vegetable broth, white wine or orange juice (my personal favorite!).

5. Lean: Buy the leanest cuts of meat and trim all visible fat before cooking. Pam Ofstein, eDiets Registered Dietitian and Director of Nutrition Services, recommends ground round, at least 91% lean. Lighten it up even more by replacing one-third of the beef with ground turkey breast. Just be sure to buy turkey breast—“ground turkey” could also contain skin and dark meat, nutritionally no better than ground beef.

6. Dairy: Buy low-fat and nonfat varieties of milk, sour cream, yogurt and cheese. Low-fat buttermilk works great as a substitute for whole milk in any recipe. Nonfat evaporated milk works famously in dishes calling for cream, like sauces, pies, ice cream and, of course, in tea and coffee. Don’t confuse “evaporated” with “condensed” milk, which is heavily sweetened with sugar.

7. Chocolate: Why deny yourself the sensuous pleasure of chocolate when there’s cocoa? Three tablespoons of cocoa and one tablespoon of canola oil has less saturated fat than one ounce of baking chocolate.

8. Eggs: When cooking, just substitute two egg whites for one whole egg (the fat, cholesterol and most of the calories from eggs are in the yolks). I make my “famous” frittata for two with six whites and two whole eggs, cutting calories without losing flavor. My secret: Add a clove of minced garlic, plus herbs and spices and one-third cup of low-fat buttermilk.

9. Crumbs: Substitute crunchy cereal for higher calorie commercial bread crumbs. I like to use crushed corn flakes or Grape Nuts.

10. Cut: Make servings smaller. Americans suffer from “portion distortion” and think everything needs to be bigger to be better. Use smaller plates, and make that cake serve 12 instead of 8.

Nutritionist Susan L. Burke is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and a Certified Diabetes Educator who specializes in both general and diabetes-related weight management.

Find FREE diet and fitness tips, plus get a personalized meal plan from eDiets.com by visiting www.ediets.com or by calling 1-877-EDIETS5 (334-3875) to sign up today!

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