“Guy Foods” Lightened
We’ve lightened favorite “guy foods” most commonly found on a bar menu (or on your coffee table during halftime). By making just a few small tweaks, you (and your man) can savor every bite to the fullest. By: Text: Holley Grainger, MS, RD
A hamburger doesn't have to be oversized or loaded with fatty toppings to be a good burger. You may think that the easiest way to lighten a beef burger is to just switch to ground turkey, but that isn't always true. Not all ground turkey is as light as you may believe so make sure to check the label to ensure you're purchasing ground turkey breast (versus "ground turkey" that may also include the darker meat and skin). In fact, regular ground turkey has more fat and calories than 93% lean ground beef. So if you prefer beef, choose the extra-lean ground beef or ground sirloin and top with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and reduced-fat cheese.
Ditch the meat-lover's pizza and replace the mounds of sausage and pepperoni with a variety of colorful veggies. Just one slice can really pack in the calories, saturated fat, and sodium but with a few smart tweaks like using fresh vegetables, a sensible amount of cheese, and lean meat, you can still savor every bite to the fullest. To cut down on the calories even more, use a thin, whole wheat pizza crust.
Nachos are chock-full of goodness hitting on all types of flavor and texture notes. For a quick and simple nacho fix without the added calories, fat, and sodium, make your own by using wholesome ingredients. Substitute salty taco-seasoned ground beef with shredded lean pork tenderloin. In place of premade, lard-packed refried beans, mash pinto or black beans and dollop on the chips. Add diced avocado in place of mounds of guacamole to evenly distribute the creamy, cool flavor and keep the calories in check. Finally, top with shredded reduced-fat cheese and pop under the broiler until melted instead of drizzling with neon orange cheese sauce.
Frying your own food doesn't have to be bad for you. So before you give your guy a hard time for munching on fried chicken, consider that he may actually be eating something that isn't as bad as you think. But here's the catch—the healthiest fried food is what you fry yourself using healthy oils, light breading, and reasonable portion sizes. So if he's prone to driving through to pick up a bucket of chicken, you may want to curb his habits and make your own. Also, try pan frying or oven baking for a crispy and even lower calorie option.
Beef often gets a bad rap for being high in saturated fat so choose lean cuts of beef for a healthier meat option. High-quality, lean protein helps to support healthy muscles, provides iron, and keeps you feeling full plus it's a good source of energy-providing B vitamins. When selecting meat, any meat ending in "loin" is usually the most lean and quite tender. Also try flank steak, tri-tip, and hanger steak for a budget-friendly option.
Ditch the fried fries or butter-filled mashed potatoes and offer grilled potato strips to satisfy your guy's meat and potato fix.