Give your favorite meals a healthy makeover with tips that will help you reduce sugar, salt, and fat, while making sure you get more of the good stuff, such as fiber and nutrients.
Step 1: Reduce fat Reduce the fat in baked goods by using half the amount of butter, oil, or shortening and using applesauce, mashed banana, or prune puree for the other half. In recipes that call for whole milk, use fat-free milk instead.
TIP: Look for ready-made fruit-based fat replacers in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
Step 2: Cut sugar Cut the amount of sugar in a recipe by one-third to one-half and add sweetness-enhancing spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, or flavorings such as vanilla or almond extract.
Step 3: Go easy on the salt Go easy on the salt. Unless the recipe uses yeast, which requires salt for leavening, reduce the amount of salt by one-half or eliminate it completely.
Step 4: Use whole grain-pasta Use whole-grain pasta instead of enriched pasta. Not only will you reduce the number of calories; you'll triple your fiber intake.
Step 5: Employ healthy cooking techniques Employ healthy cooking techniques such as broiling, grilling, and steaming instead of frying. Use nonstick pans and cooking spray to reduce added fat and calories.
Step 6: Switch to lean meats Eat lean cuts of beef and pork, turkey, and seafood.
Step 7: Reduce portion size Reduce the portion size of meals that are still higher in fat, salt, or sugar despite replacements. Bon appetit!
FACT: The recommended intake of fiber is about 20 grams to 35 grams a day. Most Americans only get about half that, with 14 to 15 grams consumed per day.