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Dear Hungry Girl,

Is margarine (or some other margarine-like spread) better for you than real butter?  I have heard that real butter is better (for our hearts) because our bodies know how to process it.  Yet I know that spreads are lower in calories.  What do you think?


Baffled 'Bout Butter

Dear Baffled,


Excellent Q.  Since I am NOT a medical professional or even a nutrition expert (I'm just hungry), I didn't think I could tackle this one solo. I enlisted the help of my very knowledgeable (and helpful) pal, Delia Hammock, who also happens to be the Nutrition Director for Good Housekeeping.  Lucky us -- here's her quote now!  "When it comes to heart health, soft margarine and spreads definitely top butter because they have less artery-clogging saturated fat. Spreads often have fewer calories too."  Delia also has some advice for die hard butter-lovers.  "If you prefer butter, cut calories by choosing whipped butter or light butter or a butter blend (like Land O' Lakes Light Butter w/Canola) and use it judiciously when flavor is of prime importance (like when topping veggies or toast)."  She also recommends avoiding both butter and margarine for cooking, explaining that we're better off using small amounts of heart healthy oils like olive and canola, or a few shrpitzes of a non-stick cooking spray.  Sounds good to me.  Thanks, Delia. 

Dear Hungry Girl,


Summer is here and everyone knows what that means...BBQ TIME!!!  I am hosting one myself for a large group of friends and I plan on serving burgers and hot dogs (Boca Burgers of course!) but I don't know what else to serve. I don't want to resort to anything that is too terribly unhealthy but I want the food to be fun and delicious for my guests. What are some ideas for snacks and party foods that are fun and healthy?


BBQer in Need

Dear BBQer,


Barbecues are easier than you think. I bet you'll be able to have a super-successful event and people won't even realize they're eating healthy food. Boca Burgers (as you said) are good. But get some lean beef and turkey burgers as well (white meat, if possible).  As far as dogs are concerned, I like either Hebrew National's 97% Fat Free Beef Franks or Ball Park's Fat Free Turkey Franks. Chicken breast is also an AWESOME, good-for-you BBQ food. On to the cole slaw.  Check out my recipe here, or get some at your local market and rinse off most (or all) of the mayo using a strainer (great little tip!). Grilled veggies are always a hit, so feel free to toss some of those on the barbie as well.  Next, whip up some fruit kabobs by skewering chunks of cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries and kiwi. Stick them into the outside of a halved pineapple and people will ooh and ahh all day over these adorable and delicious things (trust me!).  Wash it all down with pitchers of my famous lemonade, made of fresh squeezed lemons, Splenda, Sugar Free Torani syrup (I prefer raspberry, strawberry or peach for this!).  Still looking for more ideas?  How 'bout crudite (veggie platter) with lowfat dressing,  frozen fruit bars (most have under 100 calories), or Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips and salsa?  Good luck -- and don't forget to tell me when it is and where to be...  ;)

Today, June 21st, is the first day of summer.  Hot? Check out HG's Freakishly Good Frozen Finds!

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