Stock up on: Low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Toss: High-sodium broth
Cooking side dishes with broth is a great way to amp up the flavor without adding a lot of fat or calories. But one cup of the regular stuff contains up to 40 percent of your recommended daily sodium intake. Choose broths that are lower in sodium -- 450 milligrams per serving or less -- and use them in mashed potatoes instead of butter or half-and-half; you'll save about 230 calories and 24 grams of fat per batch, says Jessica Fishman Levinson, RD, a nutritionist in New York City. Or swap butter or olive oil for broth in rice recipes and cut up to 36 calories and 5 to 6 grams of fat per serving. Broth also adds zing to steamed veggies. Just sub it for water and cook as usual.
Stock up on: Buckwheat noodles
Toss: Refined pasta
Trading up from white pasta to whole wheat is good, but choosing soba, made with buckwheat, is even better. These noodles are high in fiber (3 grams per 2 ounces), and they're an excellent source of plant protein (about 8 grams per cup cooked). "Buckwheat noodles are so filling and satisfying, you're less likely to eat oversize portions," says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of The F-Factor Diet. They're also loaded with magnesium; choline, a mineral that helps keep your brain healthy; and antioxidants, including rutin, which may lower blood pressure.
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