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    Deep-fried favorites get a nutritional makeover, and taste yummy!

    Do you, like so many of us, often find yourself tempted by foods deep-fried in a vat of fat: potato chips, fried chicken, corn dogs, French fries? Well, I say: Why be tempted? Give your favorite fried foods a makeover, and you've got (with only a few exceptions) to-die-for-tasting, oven-fried foods that won't make those jeans feel tight.

    Take a look at the "before" and "after" nutritional profiles of a couple fried foods I've lightened up:

    Fried Chicken

    KFC Extra-Crispy chicken breast Elaine's oven-fried chicken breast
    Calories -- 460 Calories -- 261
    Fat -- 28 grams Fat -- 8 grams
    Saturated fat 8 grams Saturated fat 2 grams
    Carbs 19 grams Carbs 13 grams
    Protein 34 grams Protein 32 grams

    SAVINGS: About 199 calories and 20 grams of fat per serving!

    Garlic Fries

    Ballpark garlic fries Elaine's oven-fried garlic fries
    Calories -- 490 Calories -- 256
    Fat -- 28 grams Fat 7.7 grams
    Saturated fat 10 grams Saturated fat 3.3 grams
    Carbs 56 grams Carbs 42.3 grams
    Protein 4 grams Protein 5.9 grams

    SAVINGS: About 230 calories and 20 grams of fat per serving!

    Obvious and Not-So-Obvious Health Benefits

    Obviously, oven-frying has countless health benefits for people with heart disease and for those carrying around a few extra pounds. Oven-frying is also less likely to cause discomfort in people who suffer from irritable bowel or acid reflux -- or any other medical condition in which greasy, high-fat foods can cause big problems.

    Why We Love Fried Foods

    It's All in the Crunch

    What makes fried foods so irresistible? We all know why: It's the CAAARUNCH! But after 15 years of lightening recipes, I've found that anything a deep-fat fryer can do, your oven can do just as well most of the time, and sometimes even better.

    Whether it's fried chicken, french fries, or beef flautas, you can get that crunch when you oven-fry. And you can achieve that mouth-watering "crispy on the outside, moist on the inside" eating experience.

    It is a bit of a trade-off, though. What you lose in calories and fat grams, you gain in cooking time. If you're willing to try these oven-frying techniques and add a few more minutes to your prep time, you can have your fried chicken and eat it, too.

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