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Smart food swaps to cut calories and fat

March 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
After sleeping for eight hours or so, your body is ready for some food. But grabbing without thinking spells diet disaster. So we took a look at things like muffins, French toast, omelets and swapped out one single ingredient so you can eat what you want and still lose weight.If your morning routine means a muffin from the nearest coffee shop, here is an easy choice to trim 400 calories: Replace the oversized 500-calorie café muffin with a 2-oz. VitaMuffin, which allows for maybe a dab of peanut butter for protein and a piece of fruit. And you're still eating fewer calories.

How about losing more than 100 calories from your cereal bowl? Swap high-fat, calorie-dense granola for Kashi Heart to Heart, which is sweet and filling and still offers four grams of protein, along with half the fat.

While we made more than one swap, French toast can be diet-friendly food if you make a few trades, like swapping whole grain bread for white bread, egg whites for whole eggs, and using reduced-fat or nonfat milk.

Use two tablespoons of syrup with fresh fruit instead of drowning your toast in a quarter-cup of syrup and you'll have a healthy 300-calorie breakfast and only a few fat grams, instead of more than 400 calories and nearly 10 grams of fat.

If you love a morning omelet but want more than egg whites, try one large egg and a quarter-cup of liquid egg whites instead of two eggs. You will get all the vitamins and minerals found in one yolk and the protein of the egg whites for a lot less cholesterol.

Rather than an ounce of cheddar cheese that provides 100 fat calories, sprinkle low-fat cheddar with three quarters of a cup of vegetables to make the meal more filling.

The bottom line: You'll only be getting about 230 calories and five grams of fat, versus 350 and 25 grams of fat - a substantial difference.