Healthy Makeovers for Your Favorite Comfort Foods

Nothing makes cold weather more bearable than a hearty, hot meal that sticks to the ribs. But the calories and fat in some comfort food can make you cringe. For a meal that’s both healthy and satisfying, try these classics with a twist.

B2C_Feature_Big_04 Photo by: American Home Shield

Mac and cheese
An average serving of this classic has about 530 calories and 29 g of fat. Using reduced fat dairy products can significantly cut the saturated fat. Try high-fiber pasta instead of the carb-laden variety and skip the buttery crumb topping altogether to reduce calories and fat.

One slice has an average of about 17g of fat. While ground beef is a good source of protein, substituting 97% lean turkey can slash the saturated fat in half. If you add bread or breadcrumbs, go for whole grain instead of white.

Pizza’s calories, fat and carbs make it one of the yummiest, yet least healthy comfort foods. Make your own whole grain crust or buy one of the healthy grain versions from the store. Try a whole grain pita instead of traditional crust. Substitute fatty pepperoni with veggies and save 250 calories. In place of calorie-laden cheeses, use Ricotta, goat cheese or parmigiano reggiano.

Its gooey goodness is irresistible, but it’s high in fat and calories. Substitute regular noodles with whole grain noodles, and you’ll add fiber. Swap Italian sausage with lean Italian turkey sausage for 65% less fat. Or, replace half the high-fat sausage with mushrooms for a surprisingly meaty flavor minus the fat. Reduce saturated fat by using part-skim cheeses.

Mashed potatoes.
Keep the naturally buttery flavor without adding all that butter by using Yukon Gold potatoes. Or, replace regular potatoes with sweet potatoes for their unique earthy flavor, lots of Vitamin A and fewer calories. Flavorful, fiber-rich cauliflower is a delicious substitute for calorie-packed regular potatoes. Reduce fat by substituting olive oil for butter. Use skim milk instead of whole milk.