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Healthy Recipe Alternatives Help Cut Calories

Submitted by Debra Dobies, MA, RD, LDN

Research shows that most of us gain at least a pound between November and January. The problem is the majority of us will not shed that extra holiday pound and after a few high fat and sugary holidays, birthdays, and celebrations, those pounds add up. Gaining weight in adulthood increases the risk for developing type-2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.

So, if your goal this year is to lose that pound, and maybe a few of its friends, altering the way you cook with these healthy subsitutes could get you on the road to a healthier you!

If This, Then That (Healthy Recipe Substitutes)

(Download this chart as a PDF.)

For even more ingredient substitutions enter the words “ingredient substitutions” or “food substitutions” into an internet search engine. An ingredient may not substitute well in some recipes and it is usually best to swap no more than 1 or 2 ingredients in most recipes, especially baked goods.      

Bulk Up Meals with Fiber     

Increasing fiber with your meals gradually, will increase satiety and aid in eating less.  Some ideas for increasing fiber include:

  • Substitute beans (cannellini, kidney, pinto or black beans) for up to one-half or all of the meat or poultry in entrees such as chili or tacos.
  • Prepare potatoes with skins and encourage the consumption of potato skins, which are high in fiber.
  • Add fruits such as chopped apples with skin, raisins, craisins or chopped prunes to oatmeal, cookies, cakes and breads.
  • Use oatmeal rather than white bread crumbs as an extender in meatloaf or meatballs.
  • Serve raw vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and celery for snacks.
  • Top cereals with fresh or frozen fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas or peaches.

Healthy eating doesn’t mean giving up all the foods you love!  Smart food substitutions can help you maintain an overall healthy eating pattern while enjoying the holidays, celebrations, and good health.

Debra Dobies, MA, RD, LDN, is Beebe Healthcare's Ornish Reversal Program Registered Dietitian and Medical Nutrition Therapist. Beebe Healthcare's Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program is located at the Beebe Health Campus on Route 24 in the Medical Arts Building.

Do you have a heart condition? Have you had a heart attack? Ornish Lifestyle Medicine teaches principles to reduce and REVERSE heart disease. Find out more: www.beebehealthcare.org/ornish.

Always consult with your physician or health care provider before making any dietary/nutrition changes or commencing or changing your physical activity.  

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