Have food, will fry. It's practically an American motto, but it's also just about the unhealthiest way to eat otherwise healthy fare such as potatoes, chicken, fish, and veggies. "Frying not only nearly triples a food's caloric content because of the added fat from frying oil, but heating foods to high temperatures can cause the formation of cancer-causing compounds," says Nicolette Pace, an R.D. in private practice in Great Neck, NY. Plus, frying isn't always the tastiest way to cook, since fat can dull taste buds and mute flavors. Cut the fat and keep the flavor (and the golden brown crust) by trying these smarter cooking methods:
Ah, potatoes. Perfectly healthy, low-calorie tubers that are routinely undone by butter, oil, and cream. And when they're sliced into sticks or chips and sunk into a vat of oil, as the saying goes, no one can eat just one.
Why They're Better Baked: Potatoes are a natural foil for added flavors: herbs, garlic, and a little crunchy sea salt. And they're a cinch to make in the oven. Cut into wedges, toss with egg whites, and sprinkle with the chopped herb of your choice. Bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350-degree oven and you'll get a pile of "fries" with a golden brown crust and a moist interior that serve as an excellent vehicle for ketchup.