Watching your waistline? These five fall favorites can really pack on the pounds:
- Macaroni and cheese. One cup can have 300 to 400 calories. If you must indulge, modify the recipe by using a low-fat cheese and skim milk.
- Cream soups and hearty stews. They may seem like perfect treats for cooler temperatures, but beware. Warm soups and stews that are loaded with cream, cheese or meat are also loaded with calories. If you’re a fan of soups and stews, try broth-based and vegetable-based choices to fill you up with fewer calories.
- Seasonal beverages. Fall drinks such as hot chocolate, pumpkin-spice lattes and eggnog, are a quick and easy way to add lots of extra calories. A cup of homemade hot chocolate (without whipped cream) has 190 calories. A 20-ounce (Venti) pumpkin spice latte with whole milk from Starbucks has 440 calories. One 8-ounce cup of eggnog packs 340 calories. Instead, try a hot cup of green or flavored tea, rich with antioxidants and calorie-free.
- Mashed potatoes and gravy. There’s nothing like your mother’s mashed potatoes and gravy. But all that butter, cream and whole milk add up to about 240 calories into one cup. Pour on 1/4 cup of gravy and you’re up to 300 calories in a side dish. To reduce calories, limit your serving to 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes, without gravy. Try new, low-fat recipes for mashed potatoes.
- Pumpkin desserts. Pumpkins are very low in calories and full of antioxidants and vitamins, namely vitamin A. However, when you add tons of cream and sugar to make pumpkin pie, you negate the health benefits. Substitute low-fat ingredients when baking. Try low-fat pumpkin custard. Make low-fat pumpkin muffins. Roast pumpkin seeds for a tasty, magnesium-rich snack.
Take a hike. To burn any extra calories you consume, get some exercise. Fall is a great time for hiking. Check out the most popular trails in Kentucky.