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Healthy Alternatives #4

 
Croutons
The upside: They’re so small they contribute very few calories to your overall meal, yet they add a satisfying crunch.
 
The downside:  Most croutons are made with the same refined flour that’s used in white bread, a food with a higher glycemic index than sugar.
 
The healthy alternative:  Sliced roasted almonds. They’re crunchy, sugar-free, and high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of healthy fats found in olive oil. In fact, Harvard University researchers estimate that substituting nuts for an equivalent amount of carbohydrates results in a 30 percent reduction in heart-disease risk.
 
 
Fat-Free Salad Dressing
The upside:
Cutting out the fat reduces the calories that a dressing contains.
 
The downside:  Sugar is added to provide flavor. But perhaps more important is that the removal of fat reduces your body’s ability to absorb many of the vitamins found in a salad’s vegetables. Ohio State University researchers discovered that people who ate a salad dressing that contained fat absorbed 15 times more beta-carotene and five times more lutein — both powerful antioxidants — than when they downed a salad topped with fat-free dressing.
 
The healthy alternative:  Choose a full-fat dressing that’s made with either olive oil or canola oil and has less than 2 g carbs per serving.
 
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