By Jessica Girdwain
Smart Food Swaps
Simple switches to go from guilty to good-for-you pleasure in no time:
Replace this: Low-fat sour cream
With: Low-fat Greek yogurt
Because: Greek yogurt cuts 40% of the calories and 2 grams of fat per 2-tablespoon serving. Try it in dips and dressings.
Replace this: Bread crumbs in your homemade meatballs or sprinkled on a casserole
With: Wheat germ
Because: Wheat germ is a superior source of brain-sharpening B vitamins and vitamin E. Substitute in a one-to-one ratio or use a half-and-half mixture, suggests Elizabeth Somer, R.D.
Replace this: Frozen french fries
With: Roasted sweet potatoes and parsnips
Because: Oven-roasted fries let you control the fat, calories and sodium. Sweet taters and parsnips offer more calcium and fiber than white potato fries.
Replace this: Heavy cream in your favorite sauce
With: Nonfat evaporated milk
Because: "You won't miss the calories," says Candice Kumai, author of Cook Yourself Sexy, and it looks and tastes similar. Add in a one-to-one ratio.
Replace this: Ground beef in tacos
With: Tofu crumbles, soy crumbles, ground turkey or ground chicken
Because: Tofu, for example, has one-third the calories of ground beef and almost no saturated fat. Buy firm tofu, crumble with a fork and cook with taco seasoning, says natural foods chef Peter Berley, author of The Flexitarian Table.
Replace this: Boiling rice in water
With: Boiling rice in V8 juice
Because: This substitution sneaks in lycopene, a cancer-protective antioxidant found in tomatoes. Cook 1 cup rice in 2 cups low-sodium V8.