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My 10 Most Tempting Fatty Foods

WebMD Expert Column

Think of some of your absolute favorite foods that you might tend to overeat: chips, ice cream, French fries, pizza, cheeseburgers.

What these tempting foods have in common is fat -- either with sugar or salt.

The typical American diet embraces the tempting trifecta of fat, sugar, and salt -- a combination that some experts say encourages overeating and a dulling of our natural ability to compensate for extra calories.

I’m just as much in love with some of these fatty foods as many Americans are. Over the years, I’ve successfully replaced the most appealing fatty foods with alternatives that, while delicious and satisfying, aren’t as high in fat and calories as the original tempting food.

The following are my 10 biggest fatty temptation foods -- and satisfying alternatives:

Temptation #1: Movie Theater Popcorn with Butter

I don’t know many people who can go to the movies and not get the popcorn with a couple pumps of liquid butter drizzled over the top.

Just the aroma alone of the high-fat popcorn tempts you as you walk into the theater. But even the microwave popcorn with “movie theater” or “blast o butter” in the name is shockingly high in fat: 12 grams of fat (including 3 grams of saturated fat and 4 grams of trans fat).

Satisfying Alternative:

It’s the butter that makes movie theater popcorn so tempting for most of us, so the light microwave popcorn options might fall short on this. Two popcorn options for butter lovers:

  • There are some “made with real butter” microwave popcorn options with 5 grams of fat or less per serving.
  • Use an air popper (I still have mine from my college days several decades ago) to pop kernels without added fat and then drizzle the top with one tablespoon of melted whipped butter per serving. This would add 7 grams of fat (5 grams of saturated fat).


Temptation #2: Potato Chips

No one can eat just one potato chip, can they? Some people crave the crunchy combination of fried potato and salt at a nutritional cost of 10 grams of fat per ounce.

Satisfying Alternative:

Baked potato chips, with 3 grams of fat per ounce, satisfy some people, though they leave others wanting the real thing. Taste some of the light chip options, with 4 grams of fat or less per ounce, until you find one that satisfies your chip craving.

Temptation #3: Pork Sausage Links

Every now and then, I love making breakfast for dinner and pigs in a blanket (buttermilk pancakes wrapped around browned sausage links) is my top choice. Three links of regular pork sausage totals about 24 grams of fat (8 grams of saturated fat).

Satisfying Alternative:

Turkey sausage offers a great alternative, with three links adding about 7 grams of fat (2 grams of saturated fat). Many of the turkey sausage link brands available in the supermarket are delicious and use the same herbs and spices in regular breakfast sausage.

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