HEALTHY EATING Think of add-ons as accessories

How many calories are packed into a table spoon of tartar sauce? Find out.

How many calories are packed into a table spoon of tartar sauce? Find out.

BY CAROLYN O’NEIL

The same concept can be applied to balancing your calorie budget smartly at meal time when you’re trying to cut back on consumption but still crave foods with flair.

If weight control is your goal, why not get to know and love the style of eating that delivers on flavor and nutrition without the waist-widening price tags?

Know the limits

Think of blue cheese and bacon crumbles as accessories for your plate. They add flavor and flair to a dish, but too much just piles on unnecessary fat and calories.

When you’re dining out, it’s not necessary to totally avoid the butter, gravy, cheese sauce and full-fat salad dressings; just learn to accessorize sensibly. Note that even olive oil, which is a heart-healthy fat, still carries a sizable caloric tag. So go easy on dipping bread into those little bowls of olive oil. Because the bread acts like a sponge, you can easily soak up several hundred calories’ worth of oil before you even finish reading the menu. Oil, cream and butter-based sauces are what dietitians call “energy dense” — they pack a lot of calories per ounce. Balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, tomato-based sauces, broths and salsas are nearly calorie-free and can be used liberally.

So, if it’s a punch of flavor you’re looking for to liven up a salad or grilled chicken and fish, learn to identify ingredients, sauces and sides that perk things up while keeping calorie counts down.

In moderation

  • Olive oil, 2 tablespoons: 240 calories, 28 grams fat
  • Butter, 2 tablespoons: 216 calories, 24 grams fat
  • Hollandaise sauce, 2 tablespoons: 135 calories, 14 grams fat
  • Mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons: 200 calories, 22 grams fat
  • Pesto sauce, 2 tablespoons: 155 calories, 15 grams fat
  • Tartar sauce, 2 tablespoons: 140 calories, 16 grams fat
  • Cheddar cheese slice,
  • 1 ounce: 114 calories,
  • 9 grams fat
  • Mexican queso cheese sauce, 2 tablespoons: 100 calories, 8 grams fat
  • Cream cheese, 2 tablespoons: 100 calories, 10 grams fat
  • Blue cheese crumbles,
  • 2 tablespoons: 60 calories, 5 grams fat
  • Cheese sauce, 2 tablespoons: 60 calories, 4 grams fat
  • Sour cream, 2 tablespoons: 52 calories, 5 grams fat
  • Shredded cheese, 2 tablespoons: 50 calories, 4 grams fat
  • Bacon crumbles, 2 tablespoons: 50 calories, 3 grams fat

Better choices

  • Vinegars: No calories or fat
  • Lemon or lime juice: No calories or fat
  • Salsas, 2 tablespoons: 10 calories, no fat
  • Picante sauce, 2 tablespoons: 10 calories, no fat
  • Red wine reduction sauce, 2 tablespoons: 10 calories, no fat (made without butter)
  • Horseradish, 2 tablespoons: 10 calories, no fat
  • Tomato-based sauces, 2 tablespoons: 14 calories, no fat (without olive oil in recipe)
  • Mustards, 2 tablespoons: 15 calories, 1 gram fat
  • Apple butter, 1 tablespoon: 20 calories, no fat
  • Steak sauce, 2 tablespoons: 30 calories, no fat
  • Barbecue sauce, 2 tablespoons: 30 calories, no fat
  • Cocktail sauce, 2 tablespoons: 30 calories, no fa

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