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02.20.09
 

 
We've got food fights going on at the HG HQ! Check out the competition...   
Fat-Free Cheese vs. Reduced-Fat Cheese

The Contenders: Kraft Fat Free Cheese (Slices and Shreds) and Kraft 2% Milk Cheese (Slices and Shreds)

The Stats:

Fat Free Slices
PER SERVING (1 slice): 30 calories, 0g fat, 280mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

2% Milk Slices
PER SERVING (1 slice): 45 - 50 calories, 2.5 - 3g fat, 260 - 360mg sodium, 1 - 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 1 - 2g sugars, 4g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

Fat Free Shreds
PER SERVING (1/4 cup): 45 calories, 0g fat, 280 - 340mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 8 - 9g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

2% Milk Shreds
PER SERVING (1/4 cup): 70 - 80 calories, 4 - 6g fat, 200 - 240mg sodium, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 7 - 8g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

The Flavors:

Fat Free Slices - American, Sharp Cheddar, Swiss (hard to find), White American

2% Milk Slices - American, PepperJack, Sharp Cheddar, Swiss, White American

Fat Free Shreds - Cheddar, Mozzarella (REALLY hard to find)

2% Milk Shreds - Colby & Monterey Jack, Mexican Four Cheese, Mild Cheddar, Mozzarella, Sharp Cheddar

The Taste: The fat-free stuff isn't bad and the 2% tastes great. Obviously the fat-free cheese is a little less creamy than the 2%... but what do you expect?

THE BOTTOM LINE: It's true, the fat-free cheese doesn't melt as well as the reduced-fat kind. But it's great on its own or as a topping for sandwiches, salads, etc. It's also fantastic for keeping calorie counts down in recipes that already have a lot of flavor coming from other ingredients -- like pizzas and our Mexican swaps. The 2% stuff is perfect for amping up the taste and texture of things made mostly from low-cal and fat-free ingredients -- like frittatas and omelettes.
Extra Lean Turkey Bacon vs. Real Crumbled Bacon

The Contenders: Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon and Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon

The Stats:

Extra Lean Turkey Bacon
PER SERVING (1 strip): 20 calories, 0.5g fat, 140mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Real Crumbled Bacon
PER SERVING (1 tbsp.): 25 calories, 1.5g fat, 190mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

The Taste: Both taste good, however in the wrong situation (like our Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup), the turkey bacon can taste a little "off". That stuff needs to be kept as crispy as possible. The real crumbled bacon tastes like real bacon, because it IS real bacon. But sometimes you need actual slices (like for our Toasty Turkey Club sandwich). BTW, Oscar Mayer makes a fantastic turkey bacon that tastes more like real bacon slices compared to Jennie-O's -- it has slightly higher stats, with 35 calories and 3g fat per slice (PointsPlus® value 1*).

THE BOTTOM LINE: If you want a strip of bacon (with eggs or on a sandwich), the turkey stuff is good. But for true, authentic bacon flavor, stick with the crumbles. They're ideal for soups, salads, baked potatoes, and more.
Liquid Creamer vs. Powdered Creamer

The Contenders: Coffee-mate Fat Free or Sugar Free liquid creamers and Coffee-mate Fat Free or Sugar Free powdered creamers

The Stats:

Fat Free or Sugar Free Liquids
PER SERVING (1 tbsp.): 10 - 30 calories, 0 - 1g fat, 0 - 30mg sodium, 1 - 5g carbs, 0g fiber, 0 - 5g sugars, 0g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0 - 1*

Fat Free or Sugar Free Powders
PER SERVING (1 tbsp.): approx. 30 - 40 calories, 0 - 2.5g fat, 0 - 15mg sodium, 2 - 8g carbs, 0g fiber, 0 - 5g sugars, 0g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

The Flavors:

Fat Free or Sugar Free Liquid - Fat Free Original, Fat Free Cinnamon Vanilla Crème, Fat Free French Vanilla, Fat Free Hazelnut, Fat Free Vanilla Caramel, Sugar Free French Vanilla, Sugar Free Hazelnut, Sugar Free Vanilla Caramel

Fat Free or Sugar Free Powder - Fat Free Original, Fat Free French Vanilla, Sugar Free French Vanilla, Sugar Free Hazelnut, Sugar Free Vanilla Caramel

The Taste: Both are creamy and milky in texture (once you add water to the powdered stuff, of course). And the Fat Free Original liquid is great for cooking and DEFINITELY richer than the Fat Free Original powdered kind.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The Fat Free Original liquid is a great way to make your dishes/drinks taste creamier, but it only comes in a large bottle. If you don't think you'll use the whole thing before it goes bad, the Original powdered stuff is fine. As for flavored Coffee-mate, stick with the powders exclusively. The liquid versions rack up calories WAY too quickly. (Who pours just ONE tablespoon... come on?!?!) 
Spray Butter vs. Light Buttery Spread

The Contenders: I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spray and Brummel & Brown

The Stats:

ICBINB
PER SERVING (5 sprays): 0 calories, 0g fat, 15mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

B&B
PER SERVING (1 tbsp.): 45 calories, 5g fat, 90mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

The Taste: The reason these are our favorite butter substitutes is because they both taste GREAT. ICBINB tastes better in small doses. And B&B has yogurt in it, which makes it very creamy, not yogurty-tasting at all.

THE BOTTOM LINE: ICBINB is terrific for day-to-day usage if you're trying to cut calories and you only need a few spritzes. In small portions it's virtually calorie-free (and approved by Fabio), and a little goes a long way. But each teaspoon (25 sprays) has 20 calories and 2g fat -- so it's actually got more calories and fat than B&B. When it comes down to a multi-useful, delicious, straight-up butter swap, we prefer Brummel & Brown.
CHEW ON THIS:
Friday, February 20th, is National Cherry Pie Day! Sounds like the time is right to make our Topless Cherry Pie... and maybe listen to that little ditty from 1990 by Warrant.
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  *The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.