Dr. Katz

What Does Dr. Katz Say?
Tricking the taste buds to prefer lean, nutritious foods over the rich and caloric is no easy feat.  So we asked women on oprah.com to share their personal techniques for slenderizing the dishes they can’t resist. Read their advice, then see how O's expert David L. Katz, M.D., rated the nutritional value of each idea.

A Surprising Substitute for Mashed Potatoes
The Idea: "Kate’s Cauliflower will satisfy the craving for mashed potatoes—and it's healthy. Take a large head of cauliflower, steamed soft. Mash with 1 ounce low-fat cream cheese, ¼ cup low-fat sour cream, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of Smart Balance (a healthy butter-like spread made of vegetable oils). Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste."—Carol Spradlin, Bellevue, Washington  

Rating: Excellent

Katz Says: "Thumbs up! One baked potato provides about two grams of fiber, 610 milligrams of potassium, and 145 calories. For a comparable amount of cooked cauliflower, which has only 35 calories, the fiber is much higher (about four grams), as are the calcium, vitamin C, and folate. Although the potassium content is lower (about 230 milligrams), Kate's Cauliflower gets my vote for guilt-free comfort food."
Oatmeal cookies

Wholesome Cookies
The Idea: "I love to bake cookies for my kids. I add ground flaxseeds and uncooked oatmeal to the dry ingredients of the dough (with a little less flour, and the same amount of leavening), and it makes a nice hearty cookie with some extra fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids." —Holly Clement-Nelson, Denham Springs, Louisiana

Rating: Excellent

Katz Says: "This is standard practice in the Katz house, too. Flaxseeds are the most concentrated plant source of omega-3s, and they're rich in fiber. My wife, Catherine, has also found, through trial and error, that soft wheat (pastry) flour or oat bran flour-both whole grain-make excellent alternatives to white flour in baking. You can find all kinds of healthy recipes at davidkatzmd.com/recipes."
Banana bread

Low-fat Baking
The Idea: "To lower the fat content of my zucchini and banana breads and my cakes—without sacrificing taste or texture—I always use unsweetened applesauce in place of all, or half, the oil called for. I also use either egg whites or part Egg Beaters with at least one whole egg."—Donna Seiller, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania  

The Rating: Excellent

Katz Says: "These are good ways to reduce fat and calories. Along with applesauce, you can also use mashed prunes or banana to partially or fully replace oil. You might also try unsweetened apple butter, which has no fat. Baking with fewer egg yolks and extra whites is a good strategy for cutting dietary cholesterol, although increasing evidence suggests it’s much less of a worry than we once thought. Another tip to consider is replacing ¼ cup of the sugar in a recipe with nonfat powdered milk."
Fried chicken

Faux Fried Food
The Idea: "When I am yearning for something fried, I dip the food (chicken, fish, zucchini) in bottled fat-free Italian dressing, cover it with bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet coated with PAM cooking spray. I then spray the food and bake at a high heat. It tastes fried but without all the fat."—Kelly Seymour, Dallas, Pennsylvania

The Rating: Good

Katz Says: "I like your oven frying technique. But I think you can improve it. With bottled dressing, you may be adding high-fructose corn syrup and lots of sodium.  Use olive oil and vinegar, or choose a commercial dressing with a short ingredient list, like Newman’s Own. And instead of bread crumbs—which can contain salt, trans fat, even sugar—try crushed KashiTLC Original 7-Grain crackers: They have moderate salt and zero saturated and trans fat."

Chocoholic Fix
The Idea: "A suggestion for those who crave chocolate: Get fat-free, sugar-free instant chocolate pudding. Add a little sweetener and vanilla. Mix as usual. You can add fat-free Cool Whip, and bran if you like crunch." –Linda Freeman, Claremore, Oklahoma

The Rating: Try Again

Katz Says: "I'm not too enthusiastic about this one. I'd rather see you enjoy a small piece of heart-healthy, intensely satisfying dark chocolate (with at least 60 percent cocoa), which is rich in antioxidants. That's better than trying to fill up on all these artificial flavors and sweeteners. The calories in the real chocolate can easily be reduced elsewhere in your diet. I think that would be a better strategy for health and weight control."

More Diet Advice: Get 10 more easy food switches from Dr. Katz