With healthy substitutions, you can still make tasty hot dogs and hamburgersBy: Joy Manning
Typical nitrate-and sodium-filled dogs get 84% of their calories from fat.
Better: A low-fat turkey dog.
Best: A low-sodium uncured chicken dog like Trader Joe's, which has only 60 calories and 250 mg of sodium.
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Skip the potato roll (puffed up with sweeteners and refined flour).
Better: A 100% whole wheat bun.
Best: A sprouted-grain bun adds 6 g of fiber plus beneficial plant-based enzymes that aid digestion. Find them in the grocery-store freezer section.
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It's low calorie, but sodium can run high, says Karen Ansel, MS, RD.
Better: Yellow mustard--it has less than half the sodium of Dijon.
Best: Try a sodium-free squirt of fresh lemon juice for a tart, bright flavor.
Related: The 8 New Saltiest Foods in America
This creamy topper is a troublemaker.
Better: Use 2 tablespoons of shredded reduced-fat Cheddar, cutting out 4 1/2 g of the fat in the jarred stuff.
Best: Sauerkraut contains probiotics, and it's virtually fat free. (Search: The benefits of probiotics)
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Meat chili adds 55 calories, no fiber, and 242 mg of sodium. (Video: Sneak more fiber into your meals)
Better: Canned bean chili--1/4 cup veggie chili provides 48 calories, 3 g of fiber, and 195 mg of sodium.
Best: A homemade bean chili that curtails the salt.
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An all-beef patty is loaded with fat.
Better: Bison, which has 152 calories and 7 g of fat.
Best: "Mix equal parts lean ground beef or turkey with ground mushrooms to instantly cut calories in half," Ansel says.
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Today's plus-size buns add 200 calories.
Better: Switch to a whole wheat deli thin. "That saves you 100 calories and adds 5 g of good-for-you fiber," Ansel says.
Best: Wrap your burger in a lettuce leaf.
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The white stuff is not the right stuff.
Better: A canola oil version that has half the fat and calories of the typical kind, in addition to heart-smart omega-3s.
Best: Mashed avocado.
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Iceberg doesn't pull its weight nutritionally.
Better: With more vitamins, romaine is an upgrade.
Best: "Use antioxidant-rich spinach or kale," says Bethany Thayer, RD. (Search: More kale cooking ideas)
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Bread-and-butter and sweet-and-sour pickles can add calories because they have added sugar.
Better: Dill pickles, which are sugar free.
Best: Cucumber slices flavored with vinegar.
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It's loaded with salt.
Better: "Try fresh sliced summer tomatoes instead," Ansel says.
Best: Roasted red peppers, for the extra vitamin C.
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Pass on pork.
Better: Turkey bacon, but make sure you check the label, because brands vary.
Best: Soy-based vegetarian "bacon," which has about 20 calories and almost no fat per slice.
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Full-fat slices do you no favors.
Better: Packaged cheese sliced extra thin, to save about 50 calories per slice.
Best: A reduced-fat, low-sodium cheese.
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