Even five pounds per year adds up over 10 years, and the health implications of weight gain are many: an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer, not to mention the added stress on the joints, especially knees caused by carrying around that extra weight. A new study shows that for each pound we lose it takes 4 pounds of pressure off the knee joints.
Weight gain is not a mysterious thing; if you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight and if you burn more calories than you take in you lose weight. To gain one pound we have to take in 3500 calories more than we burn off.
The most calorie dense food is fat, that means that per gram, fats have the most calories of any food. Each tablespoon of oil packs in 120 calories. Initially this may not sound like a lot, but if you were to add 1 tablespoon of oil to your diet per day, this extra 120 calories would add up to 12.5 pounds in one year, OR 25 pounds in 2 years. That's 100 extra pounds of pressure on the knee joints in just 2 years!
The good news is that small changes on a daily basis can really add up. One of the easiest and most painless ways to cut out the calories, is to start with the oil in your sauté pan. We have been programmed to reach for the oil every time we sauté or fry anything. Be it olive oil, vegetable oil, sesame oil, butter or coconut oil, they all contain 120 calories per tablespoon, and we can easily consume several tablespoons per week on our sautéd veggies.
For your convenience I have compiled a list of 10 substitutions you can reach for instead of oil when frying or sautéing. Wether you're cooking onions, veggies, or tofu, the oil in your sauté pan can easily be substituted with one of these 10 healthier replacements, and in many cases they add even more flavour to your food than the oil would! You may have to add a bit more of your replacement liquid as it evaporates, so keep it handy as your food is cooking.
2) vegetable broth
5) cooking sherry
6) Mirin or Chinese cooking wine
7) soy sauce or tamari
8) vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (Traditional worcestershire sauce contains anchovies. You can find vegetarian versions, but you can also make your own.)
9) apple juice
10) pineapple juice
Another tool that is indispensable when it comes to oil free cooking is a good non-stick pan. It helps keep food from sticking and makes for quicker clean up, so it's definitely worth the investment. With a good non-stick pan you can even forgo fat when making your Sunday morning pancakes. I now fry my pancakes in a dry pan and save countless calories! Same goes for veggie burgers!
I guarantee you won't miss that added fat in your meals.