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Dear Hungry Girl,

I love cooking with zero calorie cooking spray.  Are there really no calories in that whole can?

-Perplexed About Pam
Dear Perplexed,

If there are only trace calories in each tiny serving of something, a company is allowed to say their product has zero calories.  The problem?  There are a whopping 350 - 600 plus servings in one can of cooking spray (depending on the size and brand)!  And each of those "servings" translates into a frighteningly quick 1/3 of a second spritz.  Who on Earth uses so little spray (or even has good enough reflexes to spray that quickly)?  The truth is that there are about 7 calories per each 1 second spray (Pam even states this on their website).  I estimate that the typical spray-time required to thoroughly lightly coat a pan is around 2 seconds.  That still adds up to less than 15 calories (much, much less than what you'd be taking in if you used regular cooking oil).  The problem, though, is that people think nonstick cooking spray is absolutely calorie free and practically drench their pans, skillets and foil with the stuff.  Try not to fall into that trap.  Stick with the spray, but use it sparingly.  Pssst...the same goes for "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" spray.

Dear Hungry Girl,

I love black olives (especially in my salads) and tend to eat a lot of them.  I always assumed they were super healthy, low fat, etc...until my friend told me otherwise.  Is the fat found in olives the good kind?  Should I cut down on my intake?

-Olive Obsessed
Dear Obsessed,

Your friend was right about olives not being the fat-free, super low-calorie food people often assume they are.  However, the fat found in olives (around 0.3 grams per olive) is the healthy, monounsaturated kind.  Not only do these good fats lower your bad cholesterol, but they raise your good cholesterol as well.  Plus, they're great for making your skin supple and hair and nails healthy and strong.  But wait!  Don't go dumping a whole can of olives onto your salad just yet.  While olives are a great source of heart-healthy fats, they're also somewhat high in calories (each medium olive contains about 5).  So what should you do?  Enjoy your olives, but eat them in moderation.  Don't feel guilty about tossing 5 chopped olives on top of your salad, but I don't recommend sucking down an entire bowl of them either.  Hungry Girl Tip: Instead of overdoing it on the olives, try tossing a combo of olives and water chestnuts onto your salad.  Water chestnuts add crunch (and excitement!) without adding a lot of calories or any fat.

June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month. Celebrate with a yummy summerlicious fruit salad of watermelon, peaches, honeydew melon & grapes!

Have a Q for HG? Send it in ASAP, OK?


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