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10 Ways to Lighten Up Your Favorite Fatty Foods

Tricks and tips to help you eat the treats you love

5. The Fatty Food: Vanilla Shake

At one of the national chains, this drive-thru favorite has 700 calories, 34 grams of fat (23 grams of saturated fat), and 75 grams of sugar.

Lighten It Up: Practice portion control, and buy a kid-size shake -- or get your cold-treat fix with a small frozen yogurt, reduced-fat vanilla cone, or creamy yogurt parfait.

Depending on the fast-food chain you are visiting, the fat grams and calories go down because of the portion size or lighter choice.

6. The Fatty Food: Ice Cream

Just a small scoop (1/2 cup) can have 19 grams of fat (12 grams of saturated fat) and 300 calories.

Lighten It Up: Some supermarket brands offer super-satisfying substitutes to full-fat ice creams. These varieties are not only lighter on the wallet, but they are also usually 75% lower in fat and 60% lower in calories. The frozen aisle is also stacked with nonfat sorbets and frozen yogurts in many flavors.

7. The Fatty Food: French Fries

Sometimes a burger, chicken sandwich, or hot dog doesn’t seem complete without a side of fries. But fast-food fries will run you about 17 grams of fat (3.5 grams saturated) and 340 calories.

Lighten It Up: Make your own lower-fat, but still crispy, baked fries from scratch. Toss two potatoes, cut into sticks, in 2 teaspoons canola oil, and bake them in a nonstick jellyroll pan at 450 degrees until crispy. Another option: Frozen steak fries typically have 3 grams (1.5 grams saturated) and 100 calories per 3-ounce serving.

8. The Fatty Food: Chicken Potpie

It’s hard to beat the flaky crust and creamy gravy of frozen chicken potpies. But the numbers add up fast with a popular brand, which has about 41 grams of fat (14 grams saturated) and 670 calories.

Lighten It Up: Cook up a chunkier chicken potpie casserole at home with shredded rotisserie chicken and assorted veggies. Make your own homemade gravy using reduced-fat canned cream of chicken or mushroom soup, and add in the chicken and veggies. Then top the mixture with whole wheat piecrust, which cuts the amount of crust in half and reduces the fat to about 12 grams (4 grams saturated fat) and 300 calories per serving.

9. The Fatty Food: Deep-Dish Cheese Pizza

Whether it’s from your grocer’s freezer or a pizza parlor, one slice of deep-dish cheese pizza can have at least 20 grams of fat (10 grams saturated) and 350 calories.

Lighten It Up: When you’re craving that deep-dish taste, try an easy recipe for individual pizzas at home. Top whole wheat bagel halves, whole wheat English muffin halves, or a whole wheat pita pocket (not halved) with pizza or pesto sauce, shredded reduced-fat cheese, and veggie toppings. Pop in the toaster oven or regular oven broiler until the cheese is bubbly.

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