August 2021

Lighten Up Your Favorite Recipes

Here’s a dash of nutrition knowledge for you: Eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite meals. Making some changes to lighten up your go-to recipes can make a big difference for your health. You’ll trim the calories and fat while keeping that delicious flavor you love.

Here’s how:

Go for low-fat dairy. Making a cheese-based casserole? Select lower-fat dairy options such as nonfat milk or light cream cheese, and use about half the usual amount of butter. When whipping up your favorite dips, replace mayonnaise with plain nonfat Greek yogurt.

Add veggies. Sneak some veggies into your dishes. For example, when cooking mac and cheese, add some tomatoes and spinach. If you’re having lasagna, throw in shredded carrots, zucchini, and spinach in place of some of the ground meat. When making sandwiches, top them with additional vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers, instead of piling on more meat and cheese. Drop the pepperoni and top your favorite pizza recipe with vegetables.

Season smartly. Lightening up your recipes also means easing up on how much salt you use. Try using half the usual amount of salt or adding none at all while cooking. Instead of reaching for salt, season foods with herbs, spices, garlic, and lemon or lime juice.

Choose trimmer cuts of meat. Whether you’re making burgers, a roast, or chili, select lean cuts of beef and pork. The words “loin” or “round” mean they’re lower in fat. If you’re cooking chicken or turkey, remove the skin to slash the amount of saturated fat and calories.

With these small changes, you’ll cook up healthier dishes your whole family will enjoy.



Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley, MSN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2021
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