You may, if you wish, turn now to the calorie counter charts in the back of the book. I should prefer that you did not. Doggedly learning the calorie values of foods may not be such a great help to reducing as theory would have it. I think it would be much better to browse along for the next few chapters, and survey foods generally.
You know now that the secret of reducing is to eat the right kinds of foods. You know that proper reducing is not a question of starvation-of “cutting your meals in half.” Best of all, you know that foods are not your enemies. You need not be afraid to eat, now. As a matter of fact, let us repeat our axiom: You have to eat large amounts o f catabolic foods to reduce.
You may even agree that we can hope to cure the lipophilic of his difficulty by restoring catabolism and anabolism to a normal relationship. By our choice of foods we can surely condition the fat metabolism while its disturbances are still in a functional state.
In general, foods are your friends-always your friends, the best friends you have. They give you life and health.
I don’t suppose there is any food which does not contribute something of value to man’s diet. But foods, like people, are individualistic; even one grain of wheat is different from another.
Foods have decided virtues and faults. We need some for one virtue; some far another. Some foods fit us; some foods fat the other fellow. Just as a businessman and a scientist, for their ultimate success and happiness, must select associates from different groups, so must we lipophilics choose our food intimates wisely.
The catabolic foods are overwhelmingly our best friends. Cultivate their companionship. You are going to be fashioned by the food company you keep.
The biggest handicap to reducing, according to most fat people, is the fact that many persons must eat in restaurants a11 of the time, and most of us have to eat in restaurants and friends’ homes some of the time. As we go now to meet foods, let us consider them with the idea that we are going to use them in restaurants.
Here is Nature’s gracious gift to us fatties. In the first place, salad ingredients are among the best and most pleasant foods with which to fight fat. Besides, they are the finest way in which to get the vitamins we need for health. The pill method of taking vitamins is all right as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far. There are important vitamins which have not yet been made available synthetically; there are more vitamins to be discovered in the future. Nature has put them all in foods.
Vitamins work together to produce special results, just as different notes, when played together, produce a musical chord. Food minerals also qualify and enhance the effect of the vitamins, a complex interplay still largely Nature’s secret.
Chief among the vitamin values of salads is Vitamin C; its virtues are many. There is every reason to believe that the “four out of five” who have pyorrhea are largely so afflicted because they do not get enough Vitamin C. You see, if a person is sufficiently lacking in Vitamin C, he will develop scurvy. When Vitamin C is partially -lacking in the daily diet, partial scurvy may develop.
Thanks to modern food distribution and knowledge, real scurvy is now quite a rarity. Once upon a time, however, especially on shipboard, it was a gruesome and deadly plague, altogether too frequent. Usually the first sign is bleeding gums. Many a ship’s crew was thrown into terror and even mutiny when some hardy sailor would spy a blood stain on the bite of another sailor’s biscuit and shout = “The scorby! The scorby is here!”
Vitamin C helps to prevent colds, catarrh, and other such ailments. If we ate salads for no other reason in the world, they would be immensely worth while for their values in Vitamin C alone.
But salads are thinning. The best fat-blasting foods on the list are the salad vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes. They are enemies, and respected ones, of Debble Fat.
The enjoyment of a salad depends upon the deftness and skill with which it is made. Salad making is an art-a high art. Salad vegetables must be crisp, chilled, and fresh as morning dew. Salad dressings are most important of alljust the right little dab of garlic, and for us you-knowwhats, very little oil, if any. For nutritional reasons, we prefer lemon juice to vinegar. Besides being tastier, it is one of the richest of foods in Vitamin C.
If you will plan to have a salad served first at your main meal of the day, you have truly made a seven-league stride against Debble Fat. In the first place, that is the way a salad must be eaten if every nuance of taste and flavor is to be enjoyed and appreciated. And this question of flavor is important for us fatties, because we are entitled to en joy every bit of food we eat to the nth degrge. Goodness knows, there are enough tasty foods that we dare not eat. The salad-first plan will stymie the bread-breaking habit. It wouldn’t be so bad if we just broke the bread when we first sat down to the table. The trouble is, we not only break bread-we butter it and eat it in that gastronomical space of time between ordering and receiving a meal.
If I am extra hungry, and not at home where a salad is automatically served first, I always ask the waiter to bring some celery or sliced tomatoes while I study the menu. Then, while my table companions are eating bread and butter and debating the menu, I am slowly, deliberatelyand thoroughly-enjoying celery, sliced tomatoes, radishes or some other fat-fighting relish.
Yes, the salad-first idea is a good one.
Soups are no problem to us lipophilics. Really, they are a decided help. There is always consornme, or some other clear soup available. If the soups on a particular menu happen to be the complicated sort, we should ask the waiter to strain them. Sometimes, of course, the menu is limited. There may be just one or two soups availablethe rich, thick, creamy types at that. Beat a quick retreat, because a cream soup is very fattening.
Bouillions are certainly non-fattening, but they may be too salty, which does not help. Clear chicken soup and various clear broths are tasty and non-fattening, too. Be carefu; of broths though. When rice or noodles swim temptingly in front of you, just leave them-they may cost you ten points (a ten-minute brisk run).
The julienne soups, canned or freshly made, are more thinning than bouillon because the vegetables have a minus value.
Chief opponents in the soup division are mushroom soup, which rates high in calories; bean soup (ten times as fattening as julienne) ; pea soup, a subtle sort of enemy; and tomato soup, which is a wolf in sheep’s clothing because it is usually thickened with flour. Mulligatawny, clam chowder (the way it is usually made), oxtail and pepper pot soups can be trimmed down to our size by having them served clear.
Fatty soups, whether bought canned or prepared at home, can be compromised with in this way. Have your share of the soup placed in the refrigerator until the fat hardens a bit. Then the fat may be skimmed off and put back into the soup that goes to the rest of the family. Yours is served fat-free.
There are some tempting tripper-uppers among foodstake crackers, for example. They seem so harmless, so innocuous and so utterly innocent, especially those succulent little oyster crackers that seem to be mostly air. But they’re not. They are made of flour, and while one or two little ones don’t amount to much in calories, it never seems possible to stop at one or two, particularly when you are trying to outsmart Debble Fat by nibbling crackers to escape eating bread.
A half-cup of oyster crackers totals eighty-five calories. They may lose the day’s match for you. Three soda crackers add up to fifty calories, which is too much. So it goes, down the whole list of crackers, for all of them-no matter what their trade names-still have calories. Beware!
While innocently listening to your neighbor’s conversation, you can break a cracker into bits and put it into your soup. It is so easy, almost inevitable, to spread a bit of butter on the cracker, just a tiny little bit. Up goes the calorie count. The Swedish crisp breads of various types are, roughly, on a par with soda crackers in fattening value.
First we’ll breathe a fervent prayer that all the numerous interests concerned with bread making will forbear their fury now. We fatties have a right to live, too.
I know as well as they do that the annual per capita consumption of breadstuffs has diminished most distressingly. I know that this hurts everybody in the industry, right down to the farmer.
But I also know that there are other food industries to engage in, and that an American farmer can raise something else besides wheat, rye, and corn on his soil. The major percentage of American farm lands is devoted to cereal raising, and there is such a glut of grains on the market that, first thing you know, our national wealth will be locked up in an ever-normal granary.
Orange growers have succeeded in creating a demand for their product, and the consumption of lettuce has jumped 1500 per cent within the last twenty years. With vastly improved methods of transportation and the miracle of quick-freezing, it should be no problem at all to build a greater public demand for the really excellent protective foods that grow in a garden.
I am of the personal opinion that with a few odd millions of dollars well spent each year to publicize the values of succulent garden vegetables, and to sell the American public on the idea of eating more of them, this demand could soon be created. It would be the healthful way to eat, and people generally like balanced eating after they have been shown the light.
If the American public ate a balanced diet-if it consumed only the milk, fruits, salad vegetables and greens that it should to maintain a minimum nutritional standard-farm income would be increased at least $3,000,000,000 per year. In addition we might need a little more farm land than is now in productive use.
With that introduction, we will consider breads. Let us have no misunderstanding. Bread is a very good food. Personally, I wish I were able to eat it with profit. But more fat doesn’t profit me. A slice or two a day is all my competition with Debble Fat will permit.
Breads are fattening to lipophilics; no twisting of words will alter the situation. Bread is no longer the staff of life -not in this day and age when it is refined and there are hundreds of other foods readily available. And so, we who are fat have to consider bread as one of our A-1 op ponents. But since bread is good to the taste, we naturally want some once in a while. So let’s figure how best to fare with it.
Corn bread, delightful as it is, is a terrific handicap. One ordinary piece, about four inches square, counts up to nearly 275 calories all by itself. And how it does sop up butter! It’s easy to run it up another 100 calories with just enough butter to make it tolerable. Last but not least, who of us, when eating corn bread, doesn’t get the notion that a little syrup on it would be just yum-yum? Only a tablespoonful–only another seventy-five calories. There you are. We lose, double and redoubled.
There are only slight variations in the calorie values of ordinary breads.Strangely enough, whole wheat and rye breads are usually higher per slice than white varieties. But it’s all a tempest in a teapot because the differences are so small, with the exception of gluten bread which has only two-thirds the caloric value of the others.
An ordinary slice of bread runs about sixty to sixtyfive calories. That is not so much, and if you can confine yourself to one piece of bread at a meal, there is no harm done. But remember, the Damon and Pythias of foods are bread and butter. Personally, I find no pleasure in eating
bread without butter. It is a glum, grim and wholly taste less endeavor. Yet it may be by buttering bread that we give Debble Fat an advantage for the day.
For some reason, a great many people believe that rolls offer an escape from calories. They do not. Even those thin, papier-mache types, of which restaurants seem to find unlimited quantities, are heavily calorific. Any and all of the various kinds will average around 150 calories each-double the caloric value of a piece of bread. And another catch is that, unless salted, they are utterly tasteless (nearer to the flavor of paper than any other food I know). They are so completely insipid that you have to load them with butter-so perhaps you had better ask for bread in place of rolls.
Home-made biscuits-ah, those delectable, delightful, fluffy temptations to obesity. A definite calorie value is difficult to assess because it will vary with the ingredients and the lightness or heaviness of the biscuit. Average figures for my cook’s biscuits (a Southern cook of the first water) were as follows: twelve biscuits were made from a batch of dough containing 1200 calories’ worth of in gredients. That averages 100 calories per not-too-big biscuit. Not bad, but biscuits were born to have butter on them, and they are forever flirting with jam (100 calories per tablespoon). Biscuits are a bother, no end. Ride a bicycle furiously one mile for every biscuit.
Cakes are the Mata Hari’s of foods, but since some are more so than others, it’s worth while to figure out the least dangerous. After all, a man has to have a piece of cake once in a while.
Tenderly cutting the icing off a piece of cake and leaving it on your plate, or, better still, giving it to a tablemate who can take it, helps a little. With its contents of butter, sugar, cream, eggs, chocolate or whatnot, icing really has calories. But choosing a plain cake, if you have a choice, is best. The difference between a piece of chocolate layer cake and plain pound cake, for example, is worth considering: chocolate layer, 250 calories; pound cake, 180 calories.
When you select raisin pound cake, you win a couple of points because raisins replace some cake and are not as fattening. A standard piece of raisin cake counts 165 calories. On the other hand, a serving of walnut pound cake (one with just a skimpy amount of walnuts in it) counts 190 calories.
No, cakes are a siren lot, calorically speaking. The further we go into the matter, the more complicated it is likely to become. All told, angel food cake offers about the best out, as it has less flour and far more egg whites than most cakes. Yes, angel food or even a sponge cakeone small piece without icing-is a compromise of Fascist proportions.
Soda Fountain Seducers
A fatty at a soda fountain is a Daniel in the lion’s den, especially if one of those super-skilled Dixie boys is behind the counter. You have undoubtedly run across members of this fraternity-debonair chaps who know just how to make a chocolate frosted to the queen’s taste. The way they can sling calories into a dish or shaker is truly amazing. What’s more, they have no compunctions about topping off the whole business with whipped cream.
Consider a malted milk:
malted milk 2 tablespoons 70 calories
chocolate syrup 3 ounces 325 calories
ice cream 1 gill (modest) 170 calories
milk 4 ounces 85 calories
Total ……650 calories
Don’t be misled into thinking this is an exceptionally high calorie rate, either. I have seen malted milks made much richer at many a drug store counter.
If you are at a soda fountain to tickle your taste buds a bit, better order some plain ice cream. It is toothsome, and a dandy food, as foods go, despite its calories. But in considering ice creams, you get involved in some of the same problems that cakes present. When fruit is added, the calorie value is cut down a trifle because the fruit takes up some room. When nuts are added, the calorie value goes up because nuts are very fattening. Chocolate ice cream is more fattening than plain ice cream.
When the fatty is tempted by a soda or a sundae, he is really heading for trouble. As you should very well know, ice cream syrups are mainly concentrated sugar, and their calorie value will vary with the maker. Even when you give them the benefit of every possible caloric doubt, you will have to figure that they average about 500 calories to the half-cupful. And this amount of strawberry or chocolate syrup is not as much as you think. Just measure it and see. Such a portion of syrup will dress a sundae immodestly and make a thoroughly uninteresting ice cream soda.
No, soda fountain etiquette for the fatty should be limited to orders of plain ice cream, phosphates, plain sodas (strawberry, for example, without ice cream), or some drink such as Coca-Cola, which contains only sixty calories or so to the bottle. The really smart (with a touch of Spartan) fatty calls for lemonade, orange juice, milk, tomato juice or some other fat-escaping drink.
A census of the tidbits that modern ingenuity has devised to delight the palate would require practically a book in itself. These tantalizing traps for us lipophilics are laid everywhere, it seems. Most of us find cocktail crackers and potato chips, nuts of all sorts, popcorn, pretzels, pretzel sticks and various new and amazing tempters that came in with the repeal of prohibition, forever within reach. They are all fattening, drat ’em!
One average honest pretzel is worth about fifteen calories. Potato chips outrank pretzels, and nuts (although their fat content varies) are one almost as bad as another. If you want to get down to detail in the matter, peanuts (per ounce and not per nut, remember) are about the least fattening among ordinary varieties; pignolias come next, then cashews. Peanuts are perhaps only twothirds as fattening as pecans. Walnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds are about on a par and midway in caloric value between peanuts and pecans.
The best escape in tidbits is popcorn. Its intrinsic caloric value is less than any of the others, and besides, most of it is indigestible. The trouble with popcorn is that it requires butter and salt to be enjoyed. In fact the whole lot of tidbits are salty rogues, Debble Fat’s allies from Lilliput.
Now, of course, there are hors d’oeuvres and hors d’oeuvres. All of them are disarming because they are so petite and dainty looking, but some of them pack a hefty wallop in calorie value.
Consider the little cocktail frankfurters, for example, those tiny tempters-on-a-toothpick. They may seem “too small to count,” but each of these tasty little squidgets averages seventy-five calories to the ounce, and it’s easy to do away with an ounce of them. One taste simply calls for more.
The little pork sausages-they are really something. At 150 calories per ounce, porkies are rich in their own right, but now Debble Fat’s agents have taken to wrapping a little piece of bacon around them. This means double trouble, for smoked bacon averages 130 calories per strip.
Other sausages, such as the liver and summer varieties, have simply tremendous calorie values. It’s true that they are sliced thin and all that, but one slice never satisfied anyone. Summer sausage runs about 150 calories to the ounce, farm sausage 180, and bologna about 75, which makes the last-named our best bet in the sausage division.
Then there’s that olive hors d’oeuvre. One green olive, of ordinary size, means fifteen calories, which is bad enough in itself. Wound around with bacon and stuck on a toothpick, it would tempt a saint. There it is, decked out in another seventy-five calories.
Smoked fish is generally very fattening, although sturgeon and smoked salmon outrank the rest by far. Smoked halibut makes a hefty hors d’oeuvre, and unless your host has been kind enough to provide a bit of smoked haddock (which you rarely see), you had better reach for the celery instead of the fish.
Caviar is not so bad as you might think. A teaspoonful amounts to only twenty-five calories, and considering the fattening power of other hors d’oeuvres, that isn’t much. The trouble is, there is never an abundance of caviar.
Other occupants of the canape tray are usually made with creamy cheese, or else mayonnaise has played a role in the recipes. They are a hazardous lot for the fatty to survey even mentally, the hors d’oeuvres. The best thing to do is to fortify yourself with radishes and celery, if these have been provided. If not, bring your own, or set your will power to full speed ahead. Pardon me, your won’t power!
Candies are legion and they are everywhere to be had. Even friends love to have candy bowls and boxes around for fatties to stumble on. When you consider that an ordinary piece of chocolate cream candy is worth 160 calories, you will get a rough idea of what we are up against. (Over half an ounce of fat to increase your curves unless you roller skate for an hour to use it up.) Bonbons and the cream fondants are almost as bad as chocolates.
No need to deny that candies are tempting. They are. Almost everyone has a sweet tooth, and ours is probably sharpened by our knowledge that sweets are forbidden. Chewing gum may help you to resist temptation, or, if you simply must have candy, buy the hard kinds. They last much longer, and you can wind up with a far better score than a couple of pieces of chocolate would give you.
All alcoholic beverages, without exception, are fattening. There is no digestion cost; here is liquid fuel ready to be stored as fat.
Calorie values vary, of course, with the kind of drink. Beer of various types has a lower calorie count than wines and hard liquors (the lighter the beer, the fewer the calories). Since beer glasses differ in size, we had best give you the calorie values in cups: draft beer, 100 calories; bock beer, 135; ale, 150. Figure roughly an hour of badminton per glass of beer.
Wines can be assessed in wineglass portions (roughly three ounces) : light, dry wines (French, German, domestic, etc.), 75 calories. The sweeter or heavier the wine, the higher the calorie value: sherry, 140; muscatelle, 165; port, 165; dry champagne, 85; sweet champagne, 120.
Cordials are obviously fattening: anisette, 120 calories per ounce; benedictine, 112; kummel, 75; creme de menthe, 105; maraschino, 112.
Among the hard liquors, the calorie values are approximately equal: bourbon, rye, and Irish whiskey, 8 S calories to the ounce; gin, Scotch or rum, 75.
The calorie value of cocktails varies, of course, with the contents and the wishes of the mixer. I once went to the trouble of calculating the calorie value of some forty different common cocktails and, surprisingly enough, the general average was the same-about 80 calories per ounce (an hour of tennis).
The calorie count of alcoholic drinks is not the main handicap to the fat person; drinks stimulate the appetite and lessen the will to resist high-caloried foods. Or, if you want to put it the other way, drinks seem to give the fat person an unwarranted optimism which whispers, sirenlike, “Oh, what’s the difference?”
It is absolutely necessary to life to have a few ounces of protein each day; for best health, it is essential to have some Class A proteins once in a while. (See Glandular Meats.)
Class B proteins are found in muscle meats-steaks, chops, roasts, and stewing meat. They are classed separately from glandular meats because, from a purely scientific standpoint, they are inferior builders of body tissue. They contain what are called Class B amino acids. And the amino acids are the little chemical bricks, so to speak, of which body cells are formed.
The first task we heavyweights have, of course, is to choose those meats which are intrinsically the least fattening. Then we must always cut away whatever fat may adhere to the serving.
When eating in restaurants, tell the waiter in clear tones that you like your meat lean. For home cooking-friend wife being willing-make special effort to buy lean pieces from the butcher. Muscle meats which have been hung have lower calorie value than those which are fresh. Besides, hanging adds immensely to their tenderness, digestibility, and flavor, so unless religious dietary laws prohibit their use, these should be chosen.
For the fatty, meats should be cooked and served in the simplest possible fashion. Where we usually get tripped up by Debble Fat is in the matter of garnishments, gravies, and fancy meat combinations. Since broiling renders meat of considerable fat, broiled meats are universally less fattening than meats cooked in any other form, including roasts. (Roasts are often heavily larded.)
Breaded meats run into dizzy caloric heights, not alone because of the breading but because the operation requires extra grease. Fried meats, of course, are absolutely taboo.
Enough lard or butter will sometimes be sopped up in them to double or triple the original fattening value.
Meat pies are definitely on the suspect side. Not only do they have rich pastry coverings, but the pies themselves are liberally sprinkled with potatoes, and their succulent juices contain plenty of fat. Hashes, with their potatoes and various forms of fat, are also definitely out.
To summarize, we must ask for a lean slice of whatever roast is being served, or a lean, broiled steak or chop. If we choose chopped steak, we should request that any fat be laid aside before the meat is prepared for cooking.
The special gustatory appeal of a meat dish is often its sauce or gravy. What talent, art, and skill have been expended in fashioning these delights! They are most tempting-but they are for the four people out of five who are not fat, unless we can have a thin gravy made only of seasoned juices and a little water. Or our own cooks can put gravy into the refrigerator for its fat to congeal, and then serve us the delicious fat-free part which remains.
The garnishments-oh those tempting, ravishing garnishments! Yorkshire pudding, potato croquettes, rissoles, timbales, and the countless other do-dads with charming names, that chefs have been thinking up since civilization began. Pass them up, O fatty.
Fowl is a muscle meat which ranks, as far as nutrition is concerned, with steaks, roasts, and chops. Duck waxes dangerous as a potential fattener, and goose must be left for our friends.
Although roasted fowl of any kind is mandatory in place of the more complicated concoctions of ingenious cooks, broiled chicken is our choice in young fowl. Fowl en casserole is far more fattening than roast fowl, while chicken croquettes, chicken patties, and such are super-highways to obesity.
Creamed poultry dishes are obviously fattening. Chicken a la king-even if you promise positively to pick out the chicken carefully and leave the rest-is taboo. It is from two to three times as fattening as a piece of chicken breast. And cooks just love to put creamed chicken into fattening crusts. It is even difficult to find a breast of guinea hen that has not been larded and nestled with a piece of ham on a slice of toast.
Stewed chicken is a safe venture, provided we pass by the luscious cream gravy, and leave noodles, dumplings and rice delights severely alone. Remember, too, that hominy, banana fritters and waffles are lieutenants in Debble Fat’s army.
Fish is an excellent food, just loaded with food minerals from the sea. We can set aside heavy-handed custom, too, and serve fish on other days than Friday. Such a worthy food deserves to be eaten more frequently.
Since there are tremendous differences in calorie values, we must learn which kinds of fish are fattening and which are not. In general, fish dishes should be either baked or broiled. Fried and creamed fish are on the forbidden list.
As we know to our sorrow, fish offers unlimited scope to concoctors of sauces. Well, there’s no use in setting our taste buds atwitter with vain recollections. Just remember that lemon juice is about as fine a flavoring agent as any fish could desire.
Lobster, oysters, shrimp, and clams are definitely the least fattening of protein foods. Besides, they are particularly rich in minerals-especially iodine, which spurs along metabolism. But these are best used as dinner appetizers or protein salads. After all, we do want some variety in those parts of our menus, and just as soon as these fish enter the entree class, Debble Fat’s agents seduce them.
What’s the use of a broiled lobster without butter sauce or mayonnaise? Lobster a la Newburg is three or four times more fattening than plain lobster. That is beyond all reason. We will eat lobster salad (made with chili sauce dressing) .
Oysters give us a bit of a break. They are delightful baked with a little dab of chopped greens, a brisk brush of garlic and ever-so-few buttered cracker crumbs.
Let’s save shrimp for salads or cocktails. If cooked, shrimp seems to demand to be creamed or curried-which takes it out of our class.
Glandular meats, such as brains, heart, kidney, liver, tripe, sweetbreads, lungs, spleen, and so on (tongue may be included), are man’s finest sources of Class A protein. (Other sources are certain fish, eggs, milk, and soy beans among the vegetables.) These meats require parboiling, of course, to rid them of certain extractives, but they are excellent foods that are sadly snubbed by the American public. Primitive men and animals, existing by the rule of survival of the fittest, choose glandular meats in preference to muscle meats.
These are the chief meats which possess a real vitamin or mineral value. The curative quality of calf liver is but one example of their nutritional importance. That is the reason we will give them a frequent place on our menus. And as we go along, we will learn why the epicure smacks his lips over those meats which are too often thrown to dogs and cats, even as liver used to be.
It is true that some of these proteins are quite fattening, but we can dodge that effect by broiling them. A Sunday breakfast of broiled lamb kidney with eggs, for example, is not only tastier and far more valuable nutritionally, but is also considerably less fattening than ham, bacon, or country sausage with eggs would be.
Learn to like the glandular meats.
Eggs, perhaps the most dependable source of protein known to early man, are among our trusted allies. Probably the most nearly perfect food nutritionally, they outrank milk (which is excellent, too, but far better advertised).
As long as eggs are going to be one of our protein mainstays, we should be acquainted with a number of tempting egg dishes-those, of course, which can be prepared in a suitable manner for lipophilics.
Boiled eggs are best from the calorie viewpoint. They may be boiled to any degree we desire, although we might ask that they not be cooked in furiously boiling water (slow-cooked eggs are always more digestible). Baked eggs that have escaped fattening additions are all right, but fried eggs have a calorie value two or three times higher than that of their simple boiled cohorts.
Eggs scrambled slowly and lightly in a pan dabbed with just enough butter to prevent sticking are friends. We can also stave off Debble Fat with a plain omelette. But the cook who wields a mighty butter or grease spoon can add so much fat to scrambled eggs that their calorie value may be doubled, tripled or quadrupled. And we take a real setback with fancy omelettes, especially creamed ones.
For you who miss the friendliness of bacon or ham with eggs, we recommend this tasty substitute: soak the salt out of a bit of chipped beef, pan-broil lightly, and serve just as you would its more pound-adding predecessors.
The dairy products include an assortment of food friends that rate aces high. Here are man’s most dependable sources of food calcium, from which bones and tissues are knit and teeth built. Dairy foods should comprise a sizable portion of man’s meals, and account for a generous slice of his food dollar.
We lipophilics have to watch our way, though, in dairyland. After all, we don’t need much food fat, and as it is present to some degree in most substances, we get essential lipoids and fatty acids in tidbits here and there.
Two of our best choices are skim milk and buttermilk, from which most of the calorie-rich cream has been removed. We have to watch our P’s and Q’s with cream. If we must add something to a cereal or beverage, let’s choose light cream-or, even better, whole milk. Using cream instead of milk is largely a matter of habit and cus tom. We can soon learn to enjoy the less fattening liquid, even in coffee or tea.
Whipped cream is a lily-white, pure, clinging-vine type of seducer among Debble Fat’s minions. Some cooks apparently believe it just has to be served with every dessert and some salads. Let them have their way, but resolutely peel off the whipped cream. If your will power is good, leave it on your plate. If not, either pass it on to somebody who looks hungry, or pour salt and pepper on it. That will discourage you from forming anschluss with it or putting it in your coffee. Just a dab of whipped cream, 70 calories, calls for fifteen minutcs of vigorous work.
Butter is one of the finest of foods, and particularly valuable for its Vitamin A content. In addition, it has special lipoids and fatty acids which rank with the A-1 amino acids as food factors necessary to life.
While we are following the strict reducing diet, we can afford to let butter go by because the seven-day diet is more than rich in Vitamin A foods. But if we are just coasting along and watching ourselves carefully, we can use modest amounts of butter, well aware that it is fattening, but equally sure that it is one of the best foods. Judgment-that is all we need.
The over-buttering of vegetables practiced so ardently by many cooks is a snare for the fatty. It is superseded, as a Debble Fat plot, only by the sugaring of every conceivable vegetable (mainly in the Eastern states).
Vegetables should be dressed with their own pot liquors and a dab of seasoning.
Cheese is a far better protein than the muscle meats. It is worth more, in essential amino acid value, than any steak, chop or roast you ever ate. To collect such extra food dividends, we can have a cheese souffle, or a bowl of pot cheese, more than occasionally for a vegetarian lunch or dinner.
Take a good look at the fattening values in our calorie counter, and choose the lower-caloried cheeses. Then give this food the nutritional respect it deserves; eat it as the meal’s main protein, not just a tacked-on afterthought. Tough, hardy desert Arabs live, love and fight on a bowl of cheese and some dates.
Vegetables, together with fruits, are, all told, our richest source of vitamins and minerals. We fatties can comfort ourselves by remembering that the skinnies and normals should eat a lot of vegetables, too, probably twice or three times as much as the average person does. They will have their nutritional troubles if they don’t. So there is some consolation in our having to eat vegetables for doublechinned reasons. We will probably be healthier, after a given number of years, than our spinach-scorning confreres who are not lipophilic.
Not the least amazing feature of vegetables is their variety and abundance. Despite this, the average housewife or chef has a limited list of perhaps eight vegetable acquaintances. There are twenty or thirty tasty members of the plant kingdom which many cooks simply don’t know exist.
Frequently people shudder at the mere mention of vegetables. I don’t blame them-they have probably never tasted well-cooked ones. Culinary atrocities are certainly committed daily in thousands of homes when such foods as greens, cabbage, and spinach are prepared for dinner (like boiled blotters). Yet vegetables can be prepared in such delicious fashions; it is only that few of us know how. The man who remarked that God made foods and the devil made cooks must have been thinking of these muchmaligned gifts of Mother Nature-vegetables.
The situation is doubly regrettable because the biological function of vegetables is to supply us with vital vitamins and minerals, and improper cooking can destroy some or all of the vitamin value. Bad cooking wastes more than half the mineral value of vegetables, too. When nutrition scientists begin to rewrite our cookbooks, chapters on vegetables will bear the brunt of revision.
We feel sorry for those people who have religiously eaten vegetables for health purposes only to find after a time that they were still sick. They have a right to say that vegetables did them no good, They found out by experience. But it was the cooking method-not the carrots or beets-which failed. Vegetables cooked with an eye to their mineral and vitamin preservation would probably have accomplished the job in view. The highest art in food preparation, we believe, lies in vegetable cookery. Certainly that is where the science of cooking resides.
Brightly burnished microscopes in a nutrition laboratory, voluminous diet books on library shelves, will never cure Weary Wilhelminas of pernicious anemia. Neither will the marvelous knowledge lodged in a doctor’s brains. Eating calf liver will.
It is what you eat that will cure you or hurt you, dietetically. So the science of nutrition rests ultimately upon the shoulders of the housewife, the homemaker, and the cook.
Education is the key!
Naturally the “best” vegetable is the one in seasona vegetable fully ripened, grown in good soil and brought to the kitchen as soon as possible. It should be quickcooked, and its juices and pot liquors served with it. The goal to strive for is preservation of body. When vegetables are cooked to the mushy stage, ill has been done.
Remember, too, that most vegetables were meant to be mixed with each other. Nature provides some with tart or sharp tastes and others that are absolutely bland. Once their fine, delicate flavors have been preserved with quick and expert cooking, the art of preparation is encompassed by learning which vegetables to use with others. The judicious use of a little onion, tomato, mint, parsley or other flavoring agent will also be of considerable help. String beans may call for a little dab of chopped onion; spinach can be mixed with a few lettuce leaves; white turnips may be diced and cooked with their own chopped leaves. The Chinese, with their ancient civilization, have developed this technique of vegetable combination to the nth degree. Just study the list of vegetables and see how uniformly low their calorie values are. Note that almost every vegetable has a lower value cooked than when raw. Pay special attention to the division marked “best eaten cooked” and “best eaten raw” because nutritional balance demands that some raw vegetables or foods be eaten every day.
Furthermore, some of the garden vegetables, rarely served cooked in the average American home, are epicurean delights. For example, consider celery, stewed gently and quickly in a bit of skim milk, then flavored with its own leaves and a touch of onion. Radishes are equally tasty when prepared in this fashion. A few radish leaves make a tasteful addition to salads, too.
Cucumbers, Chinese cabbage, and celery cabbage leaves can be cooked in a jiffy and are delicious.
Mixed greens (fines herbes is their seventy-five cent name) are usually a combination of the invaluable leaves thrown away by most housewives. Thus, beet and turnip greens may be added to the outer leaves of lettuce or cabbage. Such dishes are the food iron mines of Dame Nature.
And all these strangers to the average American cook are low-caloried, catabolic gifts to the fatty, besides being economic royalists in the vitamin world.
Fruits, which are probably the masterpieces among protective foods, have been put by Nature into such attractive packages that we are tempted to eat them raw, which is best. There are a few which can sustain life all by themselves, and as a whole they are our main source of Vitamin C. In our war against Debble Fat, we count fruits the flying cavalry, or-to be more modern-the air service.
Fruits can make up a breakfast for us, and a dandy one at that. They provide an escape for the fatty who is not satisfied by a snack and a cup of coffee for that meal. Fruits can also solve the dessert problem, and believe me, it is a weighty one. Most people with any sort of an appetite want a sweet at the end of a meal, and desserts are apt to be a pitfall to fatties until they learn to use fruits for that purpose. A fruit cup dessert is comforting, satiating, yet not calorically dangerous.
Of course some fruits are exceedingly rich in sugar. We will leave them for other people. But the handsome varieties we can eat, we should enjoy chilled, stewed, fresh, or in fruit cups of endless combinations.
Fruits help solve the problem of hors d’oeuvres and meal beginnings, too. A half-grapefruit, a slice of melon, or a fruit juice cocktail makes a perfectly delicious appetizer. For those very few people who just “can’t stand” vegetables of any kind, fruits are perfect vegetable substitutes. Although it is not a custom with us and may seem strange to conventional eaters, fruit dishes may be served instead of vegetable dishes. Prunes with heavy meat dishes help. Pineapple or apples help “cut” rich meats. Rhubarb and stewed fruits of various kinds may serve as vegetable side dishes-they lend variety, too. As a matter of fact, some of the foods which we call vegetables, such as tomatoes, are really fruits.
Nibblers are offered an escape by fruits. An apple or an orange can always be selected in place of some fattening tidbit between meals, or when time hangs heavy on our hands.
Housewives, especially young brides, are prone to become nibblers and snack eaters. Just 100 unneeded calories a day, a cocktail, a snibble of candy, a cookie or a whatnot, worth identical calories when stored as fat, equal ten pounds a year. Nibble some fruit if you must.
Nibblers can’t see a movie without a nickel’s worth of candy (1000 calories?). Ball games, shopping tours-in fact, all expeditions-are punctuated by nibbles. A Sunday drive in the car equals one hot dog, assorted popcorn and sweetmeats, ice cream cones and what have youenough calories to drive the car. It’s a bad habit-nibbling.
I, personally, am a congenital refrigerator raider. This habit I came by honestly from my father and mother. Well, icebox raiding is one of the few joys that most men can still indulge in. So far neither dictatorship nor emergency legislation has interfered with it.
But obviously, undisciplined raiding can run a fatty into trouble. There is usually cheese or left-over meat to tempt one. Both are doubly bad because they invite just a bit of bread and butter to make a sandwich.
It is all solved when there is fruit in the icebox, and even the humblest mortal can manage to have this around. I have centered on apples, and now have the habit of eating one every night so firmly ingrained that nothing else would tempt me and certainly not satisfy me. I make a ceremony out of it-it is worth one. The apple is cool and firm. I peel, quarter, and munch it philosophically.
I have to battle for the privilege, in a mild way, with my old Scotty and Tough Tim, a Kerry blue. They are wise to the bedtime snack. They know it is going to happen every night and they are ready. My share has been cut to three-quarters of an apple because the dogs can detect the faint sound of an apple being peeled at least three rooms away. They run to sit at my side with respectful attention and imploring eyes. But do you think those dogs will eat an apple with peeling on it? Not on your life, yet I remember the day when they were happy with a core! Yes, fruits are one of the best allies we fatties have.