Bacon, Chocolate And 7 More Super-Decadent Foods You Can Actually Eat
Watching your weight? Quit depriving yourself! Even if you’re trying to shed a few pounds, it's not about off-limits foods — just preparations.
Whether it’s bacon, ice cream or French fries you crave, there’s a way to eat just about any dish in a way that won’t throw off your entire plan. And as long as you’re paying attention to your choices and portion sizes, it sometimes helps to give into your cravings in a smarter way as soon as they hit, so that you don’t wind up panicking and grabbing the nearest candy bar later on.
So read on: we’ve partnered with Progresso to compile some of the most common guilty pleasures that you can easily enjoy guilt-free — with a few small recipe tweaks, that is. See one we missed? Let us know in the comments and share your best guilty pleasure swaps with other Live Better America readers!
You’ve probably heard that sweet potato fries are a more nutritious alternative to the ubiquitous white version due to the carotenoids they contain (a form of Vitamin A). But if you’re trying to watch your weight, it’s not enough to simply swap in sweet potatoes if you’re still going to load them up with salt and deep-fry them. Instead, try these <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/ sian-style-oven-fried-sweet-potatoes/cd8076c5-6dfa-4809-9924-294075c6149d?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Asian-style sweet potato wedges</a>, which get their crispy texture by baking in the oven.
In place of frying up a few thick strips and gobbling them up whole, try a dish that incorporates bits of bacon and get a taste of that smoky flavor without all the fat. This <a href="http://progresso.com/Products/Soup/Light-Creamy-Potato-with-Bacon-Cheese">creamy potato soup with bacon & cheese</a> by Progresso has only 100 calories per serving!
Here’s a better way to snack: kale chips are crunchy and addictive like potato chips, but more nutritious. For a simple take, just toss kale leaves with oil and vinegar and sprinkle with salt before baking them in the oven until crispy.
Everyone has chocolate cravings, and it’s okay to succumb to them once in a while — as long as you’re being smart about your choices. That means tossing out the high-calorie chocolate bars, and opting for a better-for-you chocolatey confection (in small portions, of course). This recipe for <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-dark-chocolate-truffles/8439f27a-f772-44c3-a7ad-67f0464baf19?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">healthified dark chocolate truffles</a> combines semi-sweet baking chocolate, cereal and hazelnut liqueur to make yummy 45-calorie treats. Meanwhile, these <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-cream-cheese-brownies/7d3e2489-5243-4996-9dbb-a0663acf2db6?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">healthified cream cheese brownies</a> are made with egg whites and reduced-fat cream cheese for just 160 calories per serving.
While most Chinese restaurants have a few diet-friendly options, we’re guessing many of our readers are like us and go right for the greasy General Tso’s when they’re craving Asian cuisine. But this <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-sweet-and-sour-chicken/c0db804e-1c40-4ae8-bde8-b67318d80d61?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">sweet-and-sour chicken recipe</a> only takes 25 minutes from start to finish and is lower in fat and calories (and less expensive) than the same dish you’re likely to get at a restaurant.
Who needs heavy cream? Just freeze bananas when they’re slightly overripe to maximize sweetness, blend until smooth and then drizzle with chocolate syrup and fresh berries. A satisfying dessert for anyone with a sweet tooth who’s trying to slim down, and perfect if you’re lactose intolerant!
Pizza’s not inherently bad for you, but the kind you get when you call up the closest pizza parlor and ask them to deliver an extra cheesy pie is usually high in calories and oozing with oil. So when you get your next pizza craving, try making your own — that way you can limit the amount of oil you use, and stick to a thin crust and reduced-fat mozzarella cheese. This <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-homemade-pizza/cea34725-4f4e-43d2-b0db-74b6966c4516?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">healthified homemade pizza recipe</a> has 55 percent less fat than the original and takes only 45 minutes to make — about as long you’d wait for delivery, anyway!
Chicken Pot Pie
Pot pies are one of America’s favorite comfort foods for a reason: who can resist that hearty combination of creamy and flaky? Unfortunately, this dish tends to be very high in fat, in part due to its buttery pastry crust. Next time, try getting your pot pie fix in soup form and pair with a whole grain roll to soak up all the savory flavors. Enjoying a light style soup, like <a href="http://progresso.com/Products/Soup/Light-Chicken-Pot-Pie">Progresso’s new 100-calorie chicken pot pie flavor</a>, will help ensure that you’re not going overboard on calories.
When it comes to burgers, the cut of meat matters! So stick to extra lean (at least 93 percent) ground beef, or change it up with lean ground turkey breast, if you prefer. These <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-blue-cheese-burgers/8936fe79-f3c7-451e-9688-1a745cf7119c?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Healthified Blue Cheese Burgers </a> are made with reduced-fat cheese and have 41 percent less fat than the original recipe.