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Watching Salt and Saturated Fat?

No matter what side dishes you're cooking for Thanksgiving, these tips will help you keep the sodium and saturated fat in check -- without giving up taste.

Switch to olive oil or canola oil when possible instead of butter, shortening, (monounsaturated fat and plant omega-3s).

Use less butter or get rid of it if possible. Many side dishes call for butter. You can use a lot less for some of them, and for others, you can leave out the butter completely.

Instead of cream, use whole milk or fat-free half-and-half. If cream is added in liquid form to a recipe (not whipped), then you can usually switch to whole milk or fat-free half and half and have the same desirable results.

Use less sugar. Side dishes that call for sugar or brown sugar will usually be just as tasty with one-fourth or one-third less sugar. If a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, try adding 2/3 cup or 3/4 cup.

Switch to lower-sodium broth. You can dial back sodium levels by using lower-sodium broth in side dishes such as green bean casserole, stuffing, or butternut squash recipes.

Taste before you shake the salt. Many side dish recipes call for adding salt even when other sodium-containing ingredients are included, such as bacon and broth. Don't add any of the salt called for and taste it at the end. Your guests can add salt if necessary at the table.

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