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Dear Hungry Girl,

I love Cinnabons, but I know they are probably awful for me, right?  Any suggestions for something equally tasty, but with a lot less fat and calories?  Thanks!

- Sticky Situation

Dear Sticky,

Cinnabons are ooey, gooey, sweet, sticky --- and unfortunately, hard to resist.  But you really should avoid them.  These evil little icing-topped pastries are horrendously bad for your diet.  Each Classic Cinnabon has 730 calories and 24g of fat, while the Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon packs in an insane 1100 calories and 56g of fat.  Even the itty bitty Minibon manages to squeeze in 300 calories and 11g of fat. Yikes!  That is truly frightening.  Now on to your question.  I'm going to be totally honest; there is no Cinnabon swap that'll taste quite as good as the real thing.  However, you can have a still satisfying Cinnabon-esque (or would that be Cinnabon-ish?) treat for a fraction of the fat and calories that are in the original.  Just take a piece of Wonder Light Bread and spread a thin layer of Land 'O Lakes Light Whipped Butter (or another light butter of your choice) on top.  Next, sprinkle on a generous amount of Splenda and cinnamon.  Place your bread on a plate, and microwave for 10-20 seconds.  Your approximately 55-calorie, 1/2g of fat, 2.5g of fiber "cinnamon bread" should be soft, sweet and buttery.  Or try my recipe for Cinnamonlicious French Toast Stix.  While it's not exactly a Cinnabon, it is delicious.  Enjoy!


Dear Hungry Girl,

I was shocked when I saw that the new South Beach Diet cereal bars contain fractionated palm kernel oil.  Many people probably don't even read their labels because they assume SB products would use only good fats.  What exactly does "fractionated" mean?

-Freaked 'Bout "Fractionated"
Dear Freaked,

You're right about fractionated palm kernel oil.  It's bad.  But not being a nutritionist or a dietician, I called on my pal Lisa Young, Ph.D., R.D., who wrote the book "The Portion Teller." Here's what she says about this stuff, which is often used in energy bar coatings.   "Basically, 'fractionated oils' are another way that saturated fat slips into your diet---a no no!  'Fractionated' fats are made from a process called 'fractionation,' a process where the fatty acids in fat are separated based on their chemical properties. The saturated fat portion of the oil which has been separated is then used for the solid coating since it will give the specific texture needed.  Generally speaking, the more often food components are tampered with, the more fake it'll be, and the worse it'll be for your health."  There you have it.  So, if you're a fan of those bars (or any other bars that use those oils), try not to make them part of your daily routine.

Today, August 24th, is National Peach Pie Day.  Have some Sugar Free Peach Jell-O w/fat free Reddi-Wip instead!
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