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Turn Your Meals Into Disease-Fighting Partners

Tweak your recipes in these four ways to ward off illness, drop fat, and pack in the flavor

Here are four ideas for minor substitutions in your recipes that can improve your health.

1.  Pearl barley: Substitute pearl barley for risotto or white rice. The nutty consistency is close to risotto, and your reward is increased soluble fiber, which provides benefits for your cholesterol level and can lower your risk of heart disease.

2.  Puréed cauliflower: Substitute puréed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. Besides tasting very much like mashed potatoes, puréed cauliflower is so low-calorie that you can eat large portions without guilt. The benefit: This veggie contains phytochemicals that help guard against colon and stomach cancer.

3. Coleslaw: Instead of regular mayonnaise, use mustard powder, celery seed, and rice-wine-vinegar dressing added to fat-free mayonnaise. The advantage: the benefits of a powerful cruciferous vegetable, cabbage, and none of the artery-clogging fat of traditional slaw.

4. Cheesecake: Use fat-free sour cream and cream cheese. Taste may even be improved. Besides, you can eat with less guilt. Top the cheesecake with berries, which add antioxidants.

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