It’s a lament that we hear often: All of the tasty foods are so fattening! But while we can’t deny the allure of the occasional treat, this statement isn’t completely accurate. There are actually plenty of dishes that you can cook at home, that are both tasty and very healthy. Even better, they are low in calories and fit right into your weight loss plan!

The secret often isn’t the food themselves, but how you prepare them. Short of melting cheese on everything (don’t do this!) you might be wondering how you can create truly tasty dishes. Try these five ingredients in your cooking experiments, and you can add a lot of taste without a whole lot of extra calories.

Citrus. Not only are citrus fruits high in vitamin C; their juices also make excellent marinades for fish and chicken. You can also use citrus in salad dressings, or roast them whole and add the chunks to salads.

Spices. When was the last time you tried a new spice? Many of us keep just a few of the same old jars in our spice cabinets. Branch out and try some new ones, especially when you want to create a dish reminiscent of an exotic foreign country.

Chili peppers. Chilies might add some health benefits to your food, but they’ll certainly add plenty of heat! You can mash them with garlic to include in salad dressings, chop them and toss them into stir-fried veggies, or experiment with soups and marinades. Just be careful! If you overdo it, you might not be able to withstand the heat!

Fresh herbs. Dried herbs really don’t hold a candle to their fresh counterparts. When you can, grab some fresh herbs at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Use them in place of dried varieties for a much deeper and more intoxicating flavor.

Salt. Salt has earned a bad reputation, but unless you have certain health conditions, you don’t need to avoid it. In fact, salt helps to open our taste buds so that we can better taste subtle flavors in our foods. You can also have fun experimenting with smoked salts, herbed varieties, and so on.

As always, call us to schedule an appointment. We can discuss your weight loss plan, help you put together an eating plan that appeals to you, and screen you for underlying medical disorders that could be complicating your efforts.