5 Tasty Alternatives to your Calorie-Dense Staples

By Sahne Lee

March 11, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

We often need to hunt down excess calories in order to keep that bulging waistline in check. Some people might resort to timely workouts, but nutrition is what works in the long run. However, stricter regimes like detox fluid and juice cleanses aren’t great alternatives since the user needs to be habitual and skipping a day might require them to start from scratch. Instead, you can tweak your existing meal plan in a constructive manner, targeting a lower calorie count without starving throughout the day. You can still make pasta taste great with a few ingredient swaps here and there.


Swapping Beef with Mushrooms
A sumptuous meal with bread loaves and beef can be made tastier by adding a lot of sautéed mushrooms to it. Studies suggest that if we substitute around 80 percent of the burger meat for mushrooms, the taste is improved and so is the nutritional value. Cooked mushrooms reduce excess calories, sodium, fats, and unhealthy cholesterol. Moreso, the vitamin levels, namely Vitamin D, B and even potassium counts are improved upon.


Swapping Artificial Sugars with Dried Plums
Pureed plums aren’t just good for the gut. Prunes are a great alternative to your usual sugar and fat stores. Try skipping butter or oil in the recipe for a beefier portion of this since a lot of pureed dried plums can still spare you from a sizeable portion of unhealthy calories. Making a portion of pureed plums is as easy as it gets. Combine a cup of pitted plums and one cup of boiling water. Put the mixture in the blender and the output is rather perfect for adding to brownies and other desserts. They are natural sweeteners and then the sugar content is reduced by about 25 percent. Other perks include antioxidants, fiber and Vitamin K.

Ice Cream

Swapping Dairy Ice Cream with Bananas
Here is a trick from the world of raw foods; freezing your bananas and later blending them into a puree is actually an effective way to make ice cream tastier. What we get is a creamier consistency and subzero goodness, sans added layers of fat. Improvising the dish with a hint of cinnamon, cocoa powder and even protein powder is always welcome.


Swapping Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash
This method promotes satiety, because in the end we have a larger volume of food on our plate. Spaghetti squash is a great alterative to  starch centric noodles. You can pull out strands of squash by cooking the it in an oven and scraping out the seeds. For the figure fanatics, a cup of spaghetti squash offers 31 calories as compared to 174 calories in the regular version.


Swapping Cream with Evaporated Milk
In soups we looks for consistency. Therefore, creams make an integral part of these dishes, even at the cost of a healthy body. Things can change slightly since canned evaporated milk will lend a similar thickness without too many calories. One fluid ounce of this milk offers a mere 2 grams of fat, whereas the usual cream has a massive garrison of 11 grams per serving. However, one mustn’t confuse evaporated milk with canned ‘condensed milk’ that is a bigger storehouse of sugar.

Sahne Lee

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