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Just a dollop won't cost too much calories? Think again

December 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
We often think that a little dollop, dunk or drizzle of certain liquids and foods are nearly calorie-free. Think again.

While they're not all high fat and calorie, many are nutrient dense and even a small addition can be tacking on substantial calories to your day.

It's a rare chef that is strict on measuring. We tend to guesstimate. For many, a dollop registers 5 tablespoons, not one, and a splash is a quarter cup.

Keep that in mind when you learn the following numbers as they're for when you're honest and go by the serving size.

One scoop of ice cream, about a quarter cup, averages 65 calories. The same amount of frozen yogurt is 50 calories, a 15-calorie savings.

Nondairy whipped topping is 25 calories for 2 tablespoons. If you go for the real deal, classic whip with heavy cream and sugar, the same 2 tablespoon serving is nearly 50 calories on your coffee or dessert -- that is quite the extra.

Surprisingly, sour cream actually has more calories than whipped cream. Two tablespoons is 60 calories and 5 fat grams. A lighter version whacks 20 calories out.

But choose the same amount of plain low-fat Greek yogurt and you will get only around 25 calories. A splash of creamer in your coffee is where you'd do well to measure the pour. Half and half is around 20 calories a tablespoon. Nondairy creamers are 15. But if you are guessing, you could be pouring 40 to 50 calories into your cup, and perhaps, you have more than one cup in a day.

Many would argue olive oil is a better choice due to its heart healthy attributions, but a tablespoon is 120 calories. A tablespoon of butter is just 100.

But heads up, the International Journal of Obesity found that those that choose the olive oil eat 23 percent less bread and eat 16 percent fewer calories.


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