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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Healthy Comfort Foods

Bean and broth-based soup
When you think of “comfort foods,” what are the first foods that come to your mind? For me, I think of soups and stews or chicken dishes. Something that warms you from the inside out. During these cold winter months, hearty meals are more appealing. Comfort foods can soothe your belly without growing it at the same time!

Even though it may seem better to skip out on these dense meals, life without comfort foods is just not the same! To enjoy your favorite meals without the worry try these simple tips. The end result will be a delicious variation of your comfort food of choice.

If you’re a soup/chili person:

  • make broth based soups
  • make vegetables and beans the base of your soups
  • use lean meat and beans in chili
  • use light sour cream in soups and as toppers
  • for chili, use lean meat and top with low-fat cheese
  • serve soups with whole grain bread

If you’re a meat and potatoes kind of person:

  • buy leaner cuts of meat to prepare your meals
  • roast, bake, grill or broil poultry and meats rather than frying
  • serve meat with vegetables and whole grains
  • if making meatloaf, use lean meat, and include grains such as bulgur to bulk up the meat
  • top potatoes with Greek yogurt or light sour cream and salsa

If grains are your weakness:

  • use whole grain pasta or try quinoa, bulgur, or brown rice
  • top it with lots of your favorite vegetables
  • serve pasta with low-fat sauces or marinara instead of creamy varieties
  • sprinkle grains with reduced-fat cheese
  • use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth in dishes
  • for your favorite cheesy dishes get creative and use low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese in place of the full fat variety.

Making these small changes can have a huge effect on what you consume during meals. Swap out ingredients and watch your portion sizes for a winter filled with your favorite comfort foods. 

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Tags: Cooking Healthy , Healthy Eating

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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