Spring’s 10 Most Fattening Foods

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Spring’s arrival brings not just daffodils and tulips, but a wake-up call for everyone who has been hibernating during the winter, avoiding exercise, indulging in breakfast casseroles or quiches loaded with sausages, cheese, butter and cream, all served with hot cross buns, chocolate, and coconut can be calorie landmines, says chef and weight management specialist, Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD. Her advice: Have fruit for dessert, or keep your dessert portion small.

  • Salads loaded with mayo, such as chicken and potato salad, are easy to tote in picnic baskets but are also loaded with fat and calories. “This is an easy fix,” says Moores. “Simply decrease the amount of mayonnaise or swap for light mayo, add mustard or fresh herbs, and consider other healthy ingredients –like green beans with potatoes or grapes with chicken — to lower the fat content and add a burst of fresh spring flavor.” And for your main dish? Just keep it simple. “Eating entrée salads is a great idea during spring, with all the wonderful greens and vegetables, but so often they are also loaded with high fat ingredients like cheese, croutons, mayonnaise salads, and high-fat dressings,” says Boston University professor Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD.
  • Spring is prime time to fire up the grill and enjoy grilled foods like burgers, hot dogs, ribs, and steaks. Instead, fill your grill with-lower fat items. “Grill poultry, fish, lean meats, fruit and veggies, and stay away from the high fat burgers, giant steaks, and other high-fat items like ribs,” suggests ADA spokesperson Marisa Moore, RD.
  • Coconut is found in many popular spring dishes, like shrimp, cream pies, cakes, cookies, and smoothies. But coconut contains saturated fat, and in 1 ounce of the sweetened packaged kind in the grocery store, there are 129 calories and 8 grams of fat. “If you indulge in a large portion of coconut, the calories can skyrocket, because usually the coconut is paired with other high calories ingredient,” warns Gerbstadt. “For example, coconut shrimp that is fried contains about 300 calories, compared to less than 100 for the same portion of simple shrimp cocktail,” says Gerbstadt. The cure? Stay away from coconut-laden dishes, and enjoy just a sprinkle of coconut over the top of your favorite spring dishes for flavor and texture. Or try a lighter substitute like crunchy cereal or toasted wheat germ.