How can I cut fat and calories without losing taste?

Here are some great ways to power up the taste of your foods.

Let's add some crunch!

  • almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • apples
  • bell peppers
  • jicama
  • cucumber
  • celery
  • carrots
  • fennel

Need some sweetness?

  • raisins
  • dates
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapple or pineapple juice
  • bananas
  • grapes or grape juice
  • honey
  • agave nectar

I want more ZING!

  • salsa
  • chili peppers
  • cayenne pepper
  • curry/garam masala
  • paprika
  • mustard
  • ginger
  • lemon or lime juice
  • crushed red pepper

Flavor it up baby!

  • roasted red peppers
  • lemon or lime
  • pico de gallo
  • pickle relish
  • garlic
  • basil
  • oregano
  • dill weed
  • extracts (vanilla, coconut, almond)

Lightening up your favorite high-calorie, high-fat meals and recipes is easy with a few tricks of the trade. Here are some ways to maximize taste and minimize fat and calories.
  • Use small amounts of highly flavored ingredients -- such as parmigiano reggiano cheese, toasted sesame, and hot chili oils -- rather than larger amounts of mildly flavored ones.
  • Swap applesauce for up to one-third of the  butter or oil in a cookie or cake recipe (light-colored batters), or substitute the same amount of pureed prunes if you're making a chocolaty dessert. Pureed pumpkin and sweet potato are also good substitutes.
  • Bake sliced peppers, carrots, onions, and other favorite vegetables with cooking spray (or a drizzle of olive oil) and kosher salt to bring out their natural sweetness. Enjoy them as a side dish or chopped and incorporated into other recipes for added flavor and texture.
  • Coat chicken and fish with a seasoned oat, cornmeal, or cornflake batter and then bake for a crispy oven-fried result.  
Weight Watchers can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Weight Watchers offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss that can help you reach your goals.

Start out by learning proper portion control, this is very important when cutting calories.  Make small changes such as using light margarine instead of butter, choosing whole wheat breads and pastas instead of their white equivalents, and experiment with herbs and spices instead of creams and sauces.  You will be surprised how soon you will like the new flavors!

Robert S. Kaufmann, MD
Internal Medicine
Just because it does not have a lot of fat does not mean it does not have taste.  Taste is made through spices and how it is cooked.  Steamed, grilled, baked, or broiled are the best.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.