When someone begins dieting, and they eliminate the extra sauces and butter and other things that make foods taste delicious, people may quickly find that foods are bland. This can interfere with the ability to continue a weight loss plan, because who wants to continue to eat foods that don’t taste good? While some adjustment to flavor is necessary, there is no reason a healthy diet has to mean a lack of flavor. Instead of using condiments and flavorings that are high in calories and fat, such as sauces or butter, people can rely on spices that add very little negative to the meal but can add a whole lot of flavor. Read on to learn about spices and how to use them to maximize flavor in certain foods and still lose weight.
Calories in spices –
Whether you opt for dried spices or fresh, the calorie content in most is limited. Some spices, such as ground sage, actually have zero calories, making them a great option for adding flavor to a dish without increasing calorie or fat content. This way, you can eat great-tasting foods and still lose weight at the same time. Those spices that do have calories, such as curry, usually have fewer than 10 (oregano has 3, for example) – some resources say they aren’t even worth counting, but if you are on a diet that counts calories, you know how important every single calorie is. So they are actually worth including, but not typically so high that it is worth eliminating the spice from the dish. A great place to locate the calorie content of many different common spices is Calorie King – this way you can determine which spices provide you the most flavor for the least amount of calories.
Dried vs. Fresh –
If you don’t typically use spices, it can be hard to know whether to use dried spices or fresh, particularly with some leafy herbs, such as cilantro. If you are cooking a dish based on a recipe, it is usually best to opt for whatever method the recipe calls for. If, however, you are just winging it, and you are unsure which to choose, there is a typical rule of thumb when it comes to adding spices to a dish: if you are adding the spice during cooking, it is best to choose a dried version; if you are using a fresh spice, adding it as the meal is done cooking will help it retain its flavor.
What spices go in what foods?
When you begin crafting your own dishes for weight loss, you may find yourself trying to spice things up without a specific recipe. If you have ever stood staring into your spice cabinet at a loss, however, you may give up and ultimately end up eating bland food. Each spice has its own flavor, of course, but there are some common spices that offer a certain type of flavor that applies to an ethnic dish. Simply knowing these basics can help you stock your spice rack or cabinet with a wide selection that will add flavor to any meal without increasing the calories or fat. Use the following basic guide for assistance, and visit Good Cooking for detailed information on the flavor of these spices.
Italian seasonings – Oregano, Basil, Garlic
Indian seasonings – Curry Powder, Ginger
Mexican seasoning – Cilantro
Seafood seasonings – Lemon Pepper, Tarragon
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