Foods Worth Trying
By Brenda J. Ponichtera, Dietitian

Listed below are some products, with a brief description, that are worth trying. Although brand names may be mentioned, there are probably other brands with similar nutrient composition. Continue to compare the nutrient information on labels as more healthy products arrive in the grocery store.

For more Recommended Products refer to Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas - Third Edition, © 2008 Brenda J. Ponichtera, RD, Published by Small Steps Press

Rice Vinegar - Rice vinegar is very good on salads. Sweeten with sugar or artificial sweetener to taste. One tablespoon is 0 calories.

Balsamic Vinegar - This very flavorful vinegar can be used on salads without the addition of other ingredients. One tablespoon is 10 calories.

Lite Soy Sauce - Most have 50% less sodium than regular soy sauce. Or you can dilute regular soy sauce with an equal amount of water to reduce the sodium. One half teaspoon of the regular, diluted with an equal amount of water is 153 mg of sodium. An equal amount of the lite version (1 teaspoon) is 190 mg of sodium. The diluted regular soy sauce actually tastes better than the lite.

Butter Flavored Sprinkles - These are good sprinkled on vegetables. One half teaspoon contains 4 calories and 90 mg of sodium.

Canola Oil - This oil contains the least amount of saturated fat and the most amount of monounsaturated fat. A very good choice.

Olive Oil - This flavorful oil is high in monounsaturated fat and is a very good choice. The extra virgin has the strongest flavor and is the one I prefer.

Fat-Free Sour Cream - There are several good brands on the market. These have a good flavor, as good as the regular, and have only 10 calories for one tablespoon!

Evaporated Fat-Free Milk - Use in baking, especially when making pumpkin pie (with or without a crust). It tastes very good and you won't miss the fat or the extra calories. This product has 25 calories per 2 tablespoons versus 40 calories in the regular.

Fat-Free Half and Half - This a good substitute for the high fat version. Two tablespoons have 20 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of carbohydrate.

Salad Spritzers - Only 10 calories for 10 sprays. Available in a variety of flavors. A really good choice to limit the amount of salad dressing that you use.

Laughing Cow Light Cheese - This spreadable cheese is available in a variety of light flavors. Each 3/4 ounce wedge contains 2 grams of fat, 35 calories, and 260 mg of sodium.

Fat-Free Feta Cheese - Surprisingly, this has a great flavor and only 30 calories for one ounce! This should be limited by those on a sodium restricted diet as it has 450 mg of sodium for 1 ounce.

Light Cream Cheese and Fat-Free Cream Cheese - These are a good replacement for regular cream cheese. The light contains about half the fat and about 30 calories for one tablespoon. The fat-free has only 15 calories for one tablespoon. Although the light has a better flavor and texture, limit your portions as the fat can easily add up. When the cream cheese is a predominate flavor in the recipe, you may prefer to use the light or half of each type.

Fat-Free Refried Beans - An excellent source of fiber with no fat.

Ground Turkey - Look for packages of lean ground turkey that have only 7% fat. Be aware that much of the ground turkey sold contains 15% fat.

Ground Beef - Choose the very lean ground beef with only 7% fat.

Smoked Turkey Sausage - This looks like and tastes like Polish kielbasa but it is much lower in fat. It is still high in sodium, so limit the amount.

Country Gravy Mix - This is a bit high in sodium but still a good choice if you limit the amount. We used it in our Biscuits and Gravy recipe. You'll find this product with all of the packaged gravy mixes. One fourth of a cup is 40 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 280 mg sodium and 5 grams of carbohydrate. Several good brands are available and we found the low-fat had the same fat content as the regular. Check the label and compare with what is listed here.

Yukon Gold Potatoes - These are new potatoes with an excellent flavor. Simply slice, season to taste, and cook in a covered casserole in the oven or in the microwave.

Fat-Free Whipped Topping - Available in the freezer section. Only 15 calories for two tablespoons.

Frozen Dessert Bars - Look for those with 80 calories or less. Some are sweetened with sugar, while some are sweetened with artificial sweetener. Avoid those that contain palm oil or coconut oil. Some popsicles have only 14 calories!

Fat-Free Hot Cocoa Mix - Only 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate per cup.

Cornflake Crumbs - You don’t have to crush cornflakes to make crumbs. You can buy packaged crumbs in the grocery store and these are usually found by the breadings and not with the cereals.

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