Perfect Pairs: How to Slim Your Side Dishes

By  November 05, 2012

Perfect Pairs: How to Slim Your Side DishesSometimes little changes can amount to big calorie savings, especially when it comes to appetizers and side dishes. Fat and salt can easily creep into your meals, so learn how to cut down on calories without giving up taste.

Be Smart About Your Salad
Opting for a plate of leafy greens and then drowning it in creamy dressing negates all your good intentions. Go easy on toppings like cheese, bacon bits, and croutons. Choose low-fat dressing, and ask for it to be served on the side—that way you can control the drizzle.

Pick Nutrient-Packed Side Dishes
It’s always smart to eat vegetables first to fill up, but go one step further and choose options with a good source of fiber like Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Brussels Sprouts. Sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper, these wholesome greens are sensational starts that can easily satisfy.

Seek Out Healthy Substitutions
There are lots of potential ingredient tweaks to make your next meal a healthier hit. Use applesauce in place of sugar, avocado puree for butter, quinoa for couscous, and Greek yogurt for mayonnaise.  And always try to use low-fat versions of milk and cheese, and whole-wheat versions of flour and pasta.

Go for Grilled
You know fried and breaded foods are high in fat and calories. But here’s another great reason to choose grilled over fried: Grilled is easier to digest, and the shorter cook time help to retain more nutrients and vitamins. So forgo the dripping grease and get the grilled version instead.

Keep Portion Sizes Small
Paring down your portions is the simplest way to avoid discretionary calories. It’s as easy as eating half of what you’re used to or keeping seconds out of sight.  Simply downsize your plate without giving up your favorite foods.