5 Healthy Recipe Pitfalls

5 Healthy Recipe Pitfalls

Looking for a healthy recipe or think you’ve found the perfect one? Here are 5 common booby traps that can sabotage any seemingly healthy dish.

#1: Plenty of Pasta
Whole grain pasta is a welcome addition to any healthy recipe. However, if the recipes says to use 1 pound of dry pasta for 4 people you’ll have calorie overload! You’ll end up with four ounces of dry whole wheat pasta (about 2 cups cooked) per serving which has close to 400 calories.

Instead: To keep calories in check, aim for 2 ounces of dry pasta per serving.

#2: Healthy Ingredient Overload
Recipes calling for high amounts of numerous healthy ingredients can skyrocket the fat and calories. A salad is a typical example. Let’s say the recipe calls for goodies like grilled chicken, beans, mozzarella cheese, edamame and avocado. There are so many delicious and good-for-you ingredients here, but you don’t need them all in one dish.

Instead: More isn’t always better. Choose recipes with 2 or so healthy higher calorie ingredients without going overboard.

#3: Olive Oil Overkill
Olive oil is a healthy fat but each tablespoon has 120 calories of pure fat. Pour a cup of olive oil into a dressing made for 4 and you’ve got 480 excess calories per person!

Instead: Look for recipes that call for no more than ¼ cup of olive oil for 4 servings. Be sure to measure portions carefully.

#4: Monstrosity of Meat
The recipe may list a healthy cut of meat, chicken or even omega-3 filled salmon but huge portions can sabotage the calories and fat. Oftentimes you’ll see ½-pound of steak per serving. For a flank steak, that would mean 372 calories and 18 grams of fat before you’re talking marinade, sauce, and sides making your total meal close to 1,000 calories.

Instead: Aim for 5 ounces per serving of your favorite meat, poultry or fish.

#5: Mucho Queso
I love topping dishes with cheese, but once again it’s easy to rack up the calories if you don’t pay attention to portions. One cup of crumbled feta cheese has 396 calories, 32 grams of fat—22 of them saturated. Even if it serves 4 people, it can still sabotage your dish.

Instead: When it comes to cheese, proceed with caution. A little goes a long way.

Let’s Discuss: How do you choose your healthy recipes?

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