Cooking light refers to making food that’s healthier for you, lower in fat, salt and calories. It does not refer to the electrical needs of your kitchen lighting. Cooking light is simple, affordable and delicious. You could study a lot of cooking books and websites, but it’s not necessary. Cooking light is mostly based on common sense.

Less Is More

Does a recipe call for four tablespoons of butter? That’s a lot of butter. Try three tablespoons and see if that makes any difference. You can also try substituting low cholesterol spreads instead. If a recipe calls for lard or shortening, try butter. All of these substitutions reduce fat, calories and cholesterol. They usually do not change the taste at all.

And that’s the basic principle of cooking light ? less is more. Substitute lower fat ingredients for high fat ones, serve less meat and more fruit and vegetables. Trim the fat off of the meat and avoid deep frying. Instead of drowning your salads with creamy dressings, just use extra virgin olive oil. You will really taste the great flavor combinations of the salad this way and cut back on calories and fat.

Only Eat Until Full

We were all trained as kids to clean our plates. However, this is not the healthiest thing to do as adults, because we have a tendency to overfill our plates and thus overeat. Even if your meal is low fat and low calorie, you won?t be doing yourself any good by eating twice as much of it as you should. Part of cooking light is only eating sensible food portions.

It takes a while to retrain yourself to only eat until you are full ? even if there is food left on the plate. Be patient with yourself. At first, use smaller plates and bowls in order to try and trick your mind into thinking you are having the same sized meal. Overeating meat has the worst health consequences. A serving of meat should never be larger than a deck of playing cards.

A Word About Artificial Sweeteners

Cooking light does not mean you have to use artificial sweeteners, which advertise themselves as low calorie. If you enjoy artificial sweeteners and they do not give you any adverse health affects, keep on using them. But artificial sweeteners can often trigger migraines, cramping or diarrhea in some people. Sometimes, sugar (brown or white or powdered) is still the best bet in cooking light.