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Dear Hungry Girl,

I have two Qs for you.  I love hot sauce on everything.  But I was wondering -- is it healthy?  Secondly, is there a difference between hot sauce and buffalo sauce?

-Hottie Patottie
Dear Hottie,

 It's been said that hot sauce can boost metabolism, help you feel fuller (causing you to eat less), and can be used to treat colds.  It has even been known to repel bugs (not kidding).  Regardless of whether or not any or all of that is true, hot sauce is extremely low in calories and it's fat free, so use it liberally if you like it.  Buffalo sauce, on the other hand, is  completely different.  A typical buffalo sauce recipe calls for a stick of butter, which is probably why it tastes so good.  And it can also contain sugar and/or honey.  Eating buffalo sauce at restaurants is definitely risky if you're counting calories and fat grams.  My advice?  If you like your food spicy, bring your fave hot sauce with you when you go out to eat, and order your food sauce free.  FYI, I buy packets of Frank's Red Hot (my fave), online, so I don't have to lug bottles around.

Dear Hungry Girl,

I love Chinese food, but I know that it's filled with fat and calories.  I started to order my broccoli chicken steamed with no oil and no sauce.  Am I really saving lots of fat and calories by doing that?  Of course I eat it with a cup of steamed brown rice!

-Chick Who Digs Chinese Food
Dear Chick,

Chinese food is tricky.  There are obvious bad-for-you items (Orange Crispy Beef and Egg Foo Young are two of the worst, with over 1000 calories each). Then there are not so obvious offenders, like the chicken and broccoli you speak of.  To answer your Q, yes, ordering your dishes steamed with no oil and no sauce saves you a lot of calories.  An order of steamed chicken and broccoli contains about 250-270 calories and 5g of fat.  Add a brown sauce or black bean sauce to that and you could be adding another 200 - 300 calories and 5 - 20g of fat to your meal.  Brown rice is a good call.  It's definitely better for you than white rice, but it does contain about 220 calories per cup.  To keep the calorie count of your Chinese meal very low, opt for extra steamed veggies instead of rice.  And feel free to splurge on a fortune cookie.  That crunchy critter is fat free and contains just 15-20 calories!

Today, May 25th, is National Brown-Bag-It Day.  Take your lunch to
work.  And remember to include easy-to-pack treats like microwaveable mini bags of popcorn and fresh fruit!
Have a Q for HG?  Send it in!  She answers two new questions each Wednesday!
HEADS UP!  We'll be sending you an extra email today.  Keep an eye out for our sponsored "Side Dish" special.  It has two exclusive HG recipes (including a new Shirataki Noodle recipe)!
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