Cut calories with simple substitutions

Sep 28, 2007 at 9:29 p.m. ET

Preparing a healthy holiday meal needn't be a hassle!

"With a few simple substitutions, families can enjoy a delicious yet healthy meal this holiday season," says Leigh Ann Kowalsky, a registered dietitian and a clinical instructor of clinical nutrition at University of Texas Southwestern Allied Health Science School. Here are some calorie-saving tips:

  • Use broth to saut� instead of butter -- 104 calories saved per tablespoon.
  • Substitute 1/3 cup of mayonnaise and 1/3 cup of non-fat yogurt for 2/3 cup of mayonnaise -- 480 calories saved.
  • Use nonfat milk instead of whole milk -- 60 calories saved per cup.
  • Use plain nonfat yogurt instead of cream -- 720 calories saved per cup.
  • Eat skinless chicken -- 360 calories saved per whole bird.

"Cooks should also experiment with the new Food and Drug Administration-approved sugar substitute Splenda," Kowalsky says. "Splenda is a no-calorie sweetener ideal for baking at up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Every time you use one tablespoon of Splenda versus sugar you save 45 calories."