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Healthy Cooking

Tempting foods are all around us. But healthy cooking is easier than you might think. There's no need to overhaul your menu -- minor changes add up! Here are some ways to enjoy your favorites without guilt.

  • Read the nutrition labels to help you identify the calories, fat, salt (sodium) and sugar in foods.
  • Use extra light olive oil instead of butter or margarine. Use 75% of what the recipe calls for. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you can use 3/4 of a cup of extra light olive oil to save 91 grams of saturated fat.
  • Bake, broil, boil or grill using non-stick spray instead of frying.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat.
  • Trim fat from foods before cooking. Drain visible fat while cooking.
  • Blot foods with paper towels after frying.
  • Chill soups and skim fat off the top before reheating and serving.
  • Cook meat on a rack so the fat will drip away.
  • Use half of the egg yolks called for in a recipe and double the other egg whites. For example, if a recipe calls for 4 eggs, use 2 whole eggs and 4 more egg whites - you'll reduce the total fat by 10 grams!
  • Remove the skin from chicken and turkey before cooking. When cooking the whole bird, leave the skin on and remove prior to serving.
  • "Oven fry" by coating foods like chicken or fish with egg white and rolling in bread crumbs or cereal (like Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies) seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, pepper, etc.
  • Serve seasoned rice instead of stuffing or mix brown rice in with your stuffing.
  • Add roasted garlic to mashed potatoes instead of butter and cream.
  • When making soups or stews, chill the broth until the fat becomes solid and spoon it off before reheating and serving.
  • Use the low fat versions of dairy products such as sour cream, whipped cream, cream cheese, yogurt and milk. Use 1 cup low fat yogurt in place of 1 cup sour cream to save 44 grams of fat!

Ready to Get Cooking?

Here are a few delicious healthy recipes to get you started, plus websites with more great ideas:

Thanks to Kimberly Hessler, M.S., R.D., Saint Louis University, for these tips!

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