Replacing fat foods?
Body size, body composition, age, diet history, weight history, physical activity, behavior, lifestyle, and metabolism play a role in the state of health.
Nutritional advice is complex and differs in each age group or individual. But experts generally agree upon a diet that is low in fat and features a variety of foods is beneficial to every age group, whatever the expenditure of energy.
While everyone should read nutritional labels on food products, these can be misleading and the number of choices at the market can be overwhelming.
Paula H. Mendelsohn, M.P.H., who lectures in Boca Raton, Florida, tests and grades her young students on nutrition. Her list of fat-replacements helps demystify supermarket shopping.
Replace: butter, stick margarine, soft margarine, squeeze margarine
With: Light spread in a tub of any 3050 calorie "diet" margarine (1 tsp=1 serving), Blue Bonnet spread, diet Mazola, Kraft Touch of Butter spread, Promise Light, Weight Watchers Margarine, new Ultra Promise Fat Free, Fleishmann's squeeze or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray.
Replace french fries, hash browns, home fries
With: baked, steamed, or boiled potatoes with skins.
Replace: shortening, lard, oil (to cook)
With: Puritan canola oil, olive oil (1 tbsp = 1 serving in a mixed dish or 1 tsp. for salad or topping) Try a spray bottle.
Replace: mayonnaise, salad dressings, Miracle Whip, Hellmann's Bright Day
With: new fat-free Kraft Free, or Weight Watchers Fat Free, Kraft Light, Light `n' Lively, Miracle Whip Light, or Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise.
Replace: cream, half `n' half, whole milk, 2 percent fat milk, 1 per cent fat milk, coffee creamer/whitener, evaporated milk
With: skim milk, skim buttermilk, nonfat dry milk, evaporated skim milk, nonfat lactose-reduced milk, fat-free soy milk.
Replace ice cream, ice milk, sorbet, Tofutti, diet ice-cream bars, frozen yogurt, Weight Watchers ice-cream sandwiches, coated pops, Edy's sugar-free
With: milk shake of 1 cup skim milk, 4 or 5 ice cubes, and sugar-free cocoa mix, instant coffee, fresh strawberries, or 1/2 banana and 1 drop vanilla extract; Weight Watchers frozen pops (on stick), sugar-free Popsicle, new Guilt-free Edy's (fat- and sugar-free), Freshens, TCBY, or fat-free frozen yogurts, new Dannon Lite frozen yogurt (not all fat-free yogurts are also sugar free).
Replace: sour cream, King sour, Sour Treat
With: Friendship or Light `n' Lively new nonfat sour cream.
Replace: cream cheese, Neufschatel
With: light cream cheese (tub, not block), Alpine Lace, Free `n' Lean Fat- Free cream cheese, Philly Free, Friendship Free, Healthy Choice (tastes best).
Replace: store-bought, non-frozen yogurt cartons or cups
With: plain yogurt (Dannon nonfat), Weight Watchers, Yoplait 90, Light `n' Lively 100 or Dannon Light 100 (with extra calcium).
Replace: American cheese or processed "cheese food"
With: Alpine Lace, Free `n' Lean, fat-free American, cheddar and Swiss slices (Kraft Free, Bordon's Free).
Replace: hard cheese (Swiss, cheddar, Muenster, Monterey Jack)
With: low-moisture, part skim mozzarella, Jarlsberg, Lorraine Swiss, Weight Watchers Natural Cheddar, fat-free Healthy Choice cheeses, stick, brick, or shredded, Alpine Lace, Free `n' Lean mozzarella, cheddar, and Polly-O, Fat-free mozzarella (0 gram fat cheese) or any fat-free cheese.
Replace: Cream soups
With: regular soup and add skim milk, Pritkin or Health Valley fat-free soups.
Replace: oil-packed tuna, sardines
With: water-packed tuna, sardines, and salmon.
Replace: Ricotta (whole milk)
With: new Polly-O ricotta (skim).
Replace: peanut butter (regular)
With: natural or old-fashioned style peanut better (non-hydrogenated), with oil removed.
Replace: most frozen dinners
With: Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers Right Course, Armour Classic Lights, Benni Hanna Lites, Healthy Choice. Must be at or under 300 calories, under 600 mg sodium, and under 6 gm fat.
Replace: regular (4 percent fat) cottage cheese
With: new fat-free Breakstone's, Light `n' Lively, Friendship, 1 percent cottage Cheese, pot cheese, farmer cheese.
Replace: Chips (Nachos, Doritos, cheese curls, Fritos) microwaveable bag popcorn, movie popcorn (coconut oil)
With: plain popcorn (air-popped only in popper accessory without oil) Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips, fat-free whole wheat or oat bran pretzels, fat-free potato chips.
Replace: crackers (Wheat Thins, Ritz, Triscuits, Goldfish, Better Cheddar, saltines (even if "low salt").
With: New Premium Fat-free, Ry-Krisp, whole wheat matzos, rice cakes, Wasa, Kavli, Ideal flat breads, new Snackwells fat-free crackers.
With: sugar-free Swiss Miss or Carnation Hot Cocoa mix, sugar-free Nestle's Quick.
Replace: sugared cereals
With cold cereals: Puffed Wheat, Puffed Rice, Shredded Wheat (not frosted), Shredded Wheat and Bran, Fiber One, any Nutri-Grain cereal with raisins, any Chex cereal with raisins, Cheerios Total or Corn Total, Special K, All-Bran (with extra fiber), Grape Nuts (1/4 cup), and Quaker Oat Bran (red box).
Hot cereals: Old-fashioned (not instant or quick cooking) oatmeal, oat bran, Wheatina, Cream of Wheat, Cream of Rice, grits, farina, and kasha (no oil or butter added).
Replace: eggs (large, extra large, jumbo, double yolk)
With: egg whites, Egg Beaters or whole egg if medium size, Egg Scramblers, Second Nature, Better-n-Eggs, Table Ready (2 yolks per week, not together).
Replace: frying in hot oil or shortening
With: poaching, sauteing, steaming grilling, microwaving, frying in Pam spray, roosting, and broiling. Trim all visible fat before cooking, especially chicken skin. Use nonstick pans or Pam (butter- or olive oil-flavored) or any vegetable lecithin cooking spray.
Replace: ground beef, ground veal
With: ground turkey (fresh or frozen).
The Never List
Hot dogs (except Smart Dogs), frankfurters, wieners, sausage, salami, processed luncheon meats, corned beef, Spam, ham, bologna, bacon, fatback, kielbasa, pepperoni, chicken hot dogs, turkey-ham, turkey-salomi, turkey-bacon, turkey-sausage, Vienna sausage, pastromi, tongue, lox, nova (recognize them by their pinkish color). These foods are extremely high in fat, salt, and nitrates. Nitrates have been found to be carcinogenic and may increase the risk of certain cancers.
Take this list to the supermarket with you. Look for "fat free" (clearly printed on most labels) and not "low-fat" (not good enough) versions of various foods and condiments.
For additional information, contact Paula H. Mendelsohn, M.P.H., Mizner City Centre, 1700 North Dixie Highway, Suite # 127. Boca Raton, FL 33432; (561) 394-8490.
RELATED ARTICLE: KITCHEN PARTNERS
"It's an extension of our partnership," says Jock Soto, principal dancer with New York City Ballet, about his meal- and home-making pas de deux with former NYCB principal Heather Watts, his long-time partner onstage. Their new book, Our Meals: Making a Home for Family and Friends (Riverhead Books) contains nearly one hundred of their easy and favorite recipes collected from friends and the result of experiments.
Make that a pas de trois, for Damian Woetzel, Soto, and Watts, together purchased a 20-acre weekend retreat in Washington, Connecticut, to pool their collective talents into cooking and gardening for the enjoyment of friends and family. The book contains anecdotes about their dinner parties and reminds us that cooking for friends should always be fun and that we shouldn't be concerned about missing the height of entertainment elegance.
"I love making pastas," says Soto, "and rice dishes. I like sorbets, but Heather is the dessert and cake baker. Busy dance schedules have taught us how to make quick, interesting, and delicious meals that we share in an informal way with our guests."
What's their advice to young dancers afraid to cook? "Start with a basic recipe and learn to improvise by tasting. And always use the freshest ingredients."
Here is an easy recipe from the Watts and Soto cook book:
Penne with Uncooked Tomato-Basil Sauce
5 large, very ripe summer tomatoes, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 small red onion, diced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 8 ounces fresh unsalted mozzarella cheese, diced 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil Salt and pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 pound penne
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, onion, oregano, mozzarella, and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the olive oil.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the sauce and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Serve, passing the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan on the side. Serves 4.
The menus in Our Meals range from a simple grilled filet of beef to a multicourse Danish dinner. Soto began cooking when he moved to New York from New Mexico as a teenager. When he found himself sharing an apartment with other students from the School of American Ballet, it was a question, he says, of cook or starve.
Watts is now a contributing editor to Vanity Fair but remains the souschef to Soto's chef. The partnership is intact. And the tradition in New York City Ballet to spawn cooks as well as dancers (Balanchine was the master chef) continues. Balanchine once said: "If you can bake a pie, you can put anything into it." Or was that about choreography?
(Cutting back on salt in your diet? Cardia is a salt substitute available in drugstores nationwide in 50 packets of single servings. Not suitable for persons with some diet restrictions.)