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Body Watch

The Good, the Bad and the Just Plain Evil

Watching that diet? Think subs (no, not that kind): skim milk, baked chips, salsa.

August 07, 1996|THE WASHINGTON POST

How do you separate the good-for-you food from the good-but-not-so-good-for-you food?

Remember that a clever substitution can make a big difference in one's fat or caloric intake without causing tears of regret.

Mayonnaise has more than 10 times the fat and seven times the calories of mustard; whole milk has 15 times the fat of skim.

Bologna? A couple of slices has 16 grams of fat. It makes ham (6 grams) look like health food.

Potato chips? Think pretzels. Tortilla chips? Fine, but buy the ones that are baked instead of fried.

"People have no excuse anymore for making a high-fat dip," says Kim Galeaz, a nutrition consultant in Indianapolis. "You buy the nonfat sour cream and you mix it with any dry flavoring you like."

Instead of ice cream, dietitian Faye Berger Mitchell of Bethesda, Md., suggests low- or nonfat flavored yogurt or frozen fruit bars.

Dietitian Liz Marr of Denver defiantly disagrees: "I won't compromise on ice cream! I won't make a substitution!" But she has other ideas.

"Instead of pecan cookies you could have ginger snaps," she says. "Instead of chocolate chip cookies, Fig Newtons. Instead of peanut-butter cookies, graham crackers."

She's on a roll. Salsa instead of guacamole. Almonds instead of peanuts. Bran flakes instead of granola. Bagels instead of doughnuts.

Instead of sweets of evil (muffins and their ilk), keep lots of fruit around the house. Then, even if you badly need a snack, you'll get vitamins, minerals and fiber.

And remember: Out of sight, out of mind, out of mouth. What isn't in the refrigerator or cupboard won't get into the stomach. Instead of battling temptation, don't buy it in the first place. Be ruthless at the supermarket and it won't matter if you're a pushover at home.

When all else fails, there's always procrastination. When the lust for Black Forest cake or pecan pie with whipped cream gets so strong you think you can't stand it, take a cold shower and repeat after Scarlett O'Hara: "Tomorrow is another day."

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