Meghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.

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Dietitian Consult

by Meghan Tiernan, MS, RD, LDN

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If you’re anything like me, I’m all about getting as much as I can for as few calories as possible. This holds true for any meal, snack or dessert. Over the years I have tested out tons of fat replacements for baked goods, alternatives for pasta and have scoured food store shelves for products that have high servings and low calories. Today I’m going to share a few of my go-to calorie cutting foods.

Bread " 100% whole wheat light bread. 2 slices for the calories of 1 regular slice? What’s not to love?! Just make sure to look for the option that says 100% whole wheat on the package, otherwise it will be enriched.

Pasta " My favorite pasta swap is spaghetti squash. While it will never be an exact substitute for pasta, at just about 40 calories a cup (compared to 200 calories a cup of whole wheat pasta), it does a good job of satisfying your Italian craving for a fraction of the calories!

Wraps " While in general I loathe wraps (ask anyone and they’ll tell you how I feel about those deceivingly high calorie bread options), Joseph’s makes a brand of low carb wraps that are only 60 calories a pop and they taste great!

Cream cheese swap " At only 35 calories a wedge, Laughing Cow makes several flavors of their cheese wedges that can be used as a spread for crackers, a replacement for cream cheese or make any meal a little bit creamier without adding tons of fat and calories.

Greek yogurt " Not only is this stuff great tasting and a great snack or meal that is protein-packed, it is also a great substitute for sour cream in any recipe, for dips or to plop on top of your tacos.

Canned pumpkin " This is, in my opinion, the ultimate fat replacer for baked goods. I’ve tried a ton of different ways to cut calories in baked goods and nothing has worked as well to maintain flavor and texture as pumpkin does. If I’m making something out of a box, I will either replace both the oil and eggs in the recipe and just use an entire can of pumpkin instead, or I’ll trade out the oil or butter for equal parts of the pumpkin. Otherwise, in general, I’ll replace whichever fat is called for in a recipe with equal parts of the canned pumpkin and the results are great! My only suggestion is to not get the organic kind of canned pumpkin when using it in baked goods. In my experience, it has made the product drier and has a stronger flavor of pumpkin than the other brands do.

Happy Low Calorie Eating!

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