1. Minimize Fat
As you might expect, ounce for ounce cooking oils and fats add more calories than any other ingredient. As opposed to adding butter, margarine, oil, or meat drippings to your dish, use cooking sprays to prevent sticking, meat broths to add flavor, and unsweetened applesauce to replace half of the fat in baked goods.Another less obvious source of fat comes from dairy foods. Ditch the full fat versions of milk, cream, and cheese, and opt for their many reduced and low-fat counterparts that are available at the supermarket.
2. Choose Lean Meats and PoultryBegin with a lean cut of meat or poultry. Lean cuts of meat include round, loin, and sirloin. Most people think that by choosing poultry they are choosing a lower calorie alternative, but keep in mind this is only true if you select white meat from the breast without the skin.
3. Trim Excess Fat and SkinTake a minute to trim all visible fat from meat and poultry. Also, remove the skin from poultry as this is where a great deal of the fat and calories is harbored. Perform both of these steps before cooking.
4. Less Sugar
Did you know you can trim the sugar by up to one-half in many sweets and baked goods? Of course you will lose some of the sweetness, but if the recipe calls for vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon, you can add a little extra of these ingredients to help replace the flavor.As an alternative, there are many sugar replacements available in the baking aisle. Do be cautious with sugar substitutes as some do lose their sweetness when cooked at high temperatures.