- Picking poultry instead of beef
Whether you’re buying beef or turkey, “look for labels that say the meat is at least 90 percent lean,” suggests Diane Henderiks, RD, the founder of Dishwithdiane.com.
- Adding hot sauce to everything
Fresh peppers, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper add heat without any sodium,” Henderiks says. Miss the sauce? Try Tabasco, which contains a mere 35 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon, just 2 percent of the 2,300 milligrams most of us shouldn’t exceed in a day.
- Baking with gluten-free flour
At the supermarket, scout out options made from brown rice, teff, or quinoa, such as those by Bob’s Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills, and make sure a serving provides at least two grams of fiber.
- Removing the chicken skin
Don’t remove the skin until right before serving, and the chicken won’t need as much calorie-rich sauce, salad dressing, or mayo. The exception: If you’re making soup or a casserole, the fat from the skin will drain into the dish, Myrdal Miller warns, so peel it off it beforehand.
- Coating the pan with nonstick spray
To cut down on the amount of spray you need, use nonstick pans for cooking and a silicone mat or parchment paper for baking whenever possible. Or forgo the stuff altogether: “You can substitute chicken broth when saut?ing vegetables,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Just heat a few tablespoons in a pan and stir in the veggies, adding more liquid as needed until they’re cooked through.