Cooking low-fat, shopping for 'lean,' and other tips


April 04, 1995|By Colleen Pierre | Colleen Pierre,Special to The Sun

Nutrition news from here and there includes these snippets:

* University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter -- For low-fat guacamole, blend 1 medium avocado with 1 cup low-fat (1 percent) cottage cheese. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon chopped chives and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. A quarter-cup serving has 60 calories and 4 grams of fat -- about half as much as regular guacamole.

* Tufts University Diet & Nutrition Newsletter -- If you're buying your veggies precut and packaged in the new "breathable" bags, you might wonder if they're losing nutrients from all that handling. Tufts reports on a study at the University of Kentucky, which showed that broccoli packaged in controlled atmosphere wrappers fared better than whole, uncut, but unwrapped broccoli. Vitamin C and beta carotene were both higher, and the protected broccoli retained more of its green color. Here's one case where easy is better!

* National Center for NUTrition and Dietetics -- This month the Consumer Nutrition Hot Line (800-366-1655) will feature a message about shopping, cooking and dining "LEAN," and will offer the new "Lean Toward Health" booklet free to hot-line callers. The booklet is filled with quick, easy, and delicious ways to reduce the fat in your diet.

When you call the toll-free hotline, you can talk directly to a registered dietitian about low-fat concerns, select a recorded nutrition message in English or Spanish, or receive a referral to a registered dietitian in your area for individual or group counseling on weight management, diabetes, general nutrition and wellness, and other topics.

Here are some of their tips for recipe substitutions your family will never notice.

If the recipe calls for milk, substitute with: skim or 1 percent milk.

If the recipe calls for light cream, substitute with: equal portions 1 percent milk and evaporated skim milk.

If the recipe says "1 ounce baking chocolate," substitute with: 3 tablespoons cocoa (if you need to replace the fat in the chocolate, add 1 tablespoon or less vegetable oil).

If the recipe calls for sour cream, substitute with: 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese blended with 1 tablespoon skim milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or use low-fat sour cream.

If the recipe calls for butter, lard, margarine or shortening, reduce portions to cut total fat. To cut saturated fat, use vegetable-oil margarine in place of butter or lard.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center and Vanderhorst & Associates in Baltimore.

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