Monday, August 15, 2016

Cooking With Fewer Calories

I'm not the kind of person who obsesses over calories, but if you want to reduce the number calories you consume, then it's wise to look for easy opportunities to do so. Consider making the following substitutions the next time you are cooking or baking in order to help you reduce the caloric content of your food.

1 cup of white sugar (774 calories) vs. sugar substitute (0 calories)

3 whole eggs (231 calories) vs. one whole egg and 3 egg whites (130 calories)

1 tablespoon of butter (150) vs. cooking spray (6)

1/2 cup butter (814) vs. 1/2 cup of applesauce (50)

1 cup of sour cream (492) vs. 1 cup fat-free sour cream (233)

8 oz. cream cheese (793) vs. 8 oz. fat free cream cheese (255)

1/4 cup mayonnaise (229) vs. 1/4 cup fat free mayonnaise (45)

Another great way to decrease calories when it comes to carbohydrates is to eat more vegetables as opposed to breads, pastas, cereals, etc. You can eat a ton of vegetables without running up your calorie count as long as you aren't smothering them in high fat dressings.

As you can see, making simple substitutions can make a big difference in the overall number of calories you consume over time. Many foods still taste good if the high calorie ingredients are slightly decreased from what the recipe calls for.  I substituted applesauce for syrup years ago and can't bring myself to eat syrup any more since it's just too sweet.

Calorie content is still only one part of the overall food equation. There are also factors of taste, texture, smell, flavor, satiety, and overall nutrition which may change for better or for worse when you switch high calorie ingredients with lower calorie substitutes.

Keep in mind that there are also some low calorie foods that just may not have the same nutritional value and may actually be less healthy than their higher calorie options so you don't want to put too much emphasis on just calories, but if you need to lose weight and you have an out of balance energy equation (more calories being eaten than you burn each day), then it is wise to look for easy ways to decrease your calorie consumption.

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