18 Easy Ways to Slash Calories in Your Favorite Recipes

These tweaks will boost fiber and nutrients, too

18 Easy Ways to Slash Calories in Your Favorite Recipes

Ever wondered how to slim down your favorite family recipes? Start by tweaking your technique: instead of frying, try grilling, baking, poaching or steaming. Then consider 18 substitutions that slash calories while boosting fiber and nutrients:

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If recipe calls for: Replace with:
Bread crumbs Whole wheat panko crumbs, whole oats
Chocolate chips 70% cocoa, or dark chocolate chunks or shavings
Creamed soups Milk, pureed potato, tofu, pureed legumes or Greek yogurt
Eggs 2 egg whites per whole egg, or egg substitute
Ground beef or turkey 100% white meat turkey, chicken breast, grass-fed lean beef, legumes, lentils, peas or beans
Iceberg lettuce Arugula, spinach, romaine, kale or other dark leafy greens
Marinade (oil-based) Dry spice rub
Mayonnaise Vegan mayo
Oil or butter Applesauce with no added sugar or prune puree (baking); olive oil spray (cooking)
Pastry flour Whole wheat pastry flour
Peanut butter (regular) Natural peanut butter with no added sugar
Roux (flour + fat) Arrowroot powder
Salsa (store-bought) Home-made salsa (you’ll control the ingredients)
Salt Herb seasoning, garlic, hot mustard or horseradish
Sour cream Greek yogurt
Sugar or syrup Pureed fruit or applesauce with no added sugar
Tuna canned in oil Tuna canned in water
White rice, bread or pasta Brown rice, 100% whole grain bread, or whole-wheat or bean-based pasta

Tip: Mind your portions and savor each bite

Make your recipe tweaks worthwhile by controlling portion sizes. Fill ½ your plate with veggies , ¼  with complex carbs (brown rice, whole-wheat pasta), and ¼ with protein (meat, fish, tofu, legumes). Then eat slowly, and enjoy every mouthful!

Related: 4 Worst Habits That Wreck Your Weight-Loss Plan

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Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD

Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD

Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and wellness manager for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.
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