Summertime Cooking, The Healthy Way with Elaine Magee, RD
Enjoy the joys of summer -- and stay healthy too!
Picnics, barbeques, backyard get-togethers -- the joys of summer! But how do
you enjoy the fun and food and still eat healthy? Do you really have to give up
Grandma Barb's potato salad and Grammy Betty's chocolate cupcakes? From
lightening up your favorite summertime recipes to cooking for special needs
diets such as diabetes or IBS, we got tips from WebMD's own healthy food
expert, Elaine Magee.
The opinions expressed herein are the guest's alone and have not been
reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you
should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational
Moderator: For me, it isn't a summer picnic without potato salad.
Does there exist a good-tasting lightened version of potato salad?
Magee: Oh, yes, absolutely. I've lightened several versions over the
years. Basically everybody has their favorite type of potato salad or potato
salad recipe, so let me give you some general tips so everyone can lighten
their own recipes.
I like to use real mayonnaise, like a 1/4 cup, and blend it with 3/4 cup of
fat-free or light sour cream. This way you get a lighter-feeling dressing in
your mouth but something that tastes similar to real mayonnaise. You can add
flavor to your dressing with pickle relish, pickle relish juice, olives, or
Dijon mustard, for example. There's lots of ways. But the base of the
mayonnaise is 1/4 mayonnaise and 3/4 sour cream. Every time I've made this
mixture before, everybody's loved it.
Moderator: I lighten pasta salad by adding lots of veggies and
thinning the little bit of mayo I use with capers and the juice they come
packed in. It tastes good -- but the pasta absorbs the dressing. Ideas?
Magee: Let's talk about lightening pasta salads with vinaigrette
dressing instead of mayonnaise. With this type of recipe what I like to do is
either, number one, buy a light bottled Italian dressing (how easy is that?)
like, for example, Lite Done Right Italian or there's a Paul Newman's Italian
Light dressing, and this would cut the fat in half. Or if you want to make it
at home, you would cut the oil called for in half and substitute in something
else like apple juice. Something that's going to add liquid but not oil, like
Member question: Is grilling meat healthier than frying as far as fat
is concerned? The fat drips through the grill instead of staying in a pan, so
it seems like you're going to end up eating less fat. True?
Magee: It depends. I would tell people to start off with a lean cut
of meat anyway so that way there really isn't that much fat to lose. I think
the answer to your question is yes, in grilling, fat would drip away from the
meat if you had a fattier cut of meat with visible fat. But if you have a
fattier cut of meat that you're grilling and the fat is dripping down into the
flames, some potential cancer or carcinogens make their way back up into the
meat through flames and smoke.