4 Of Our Favorite Food Hacks From 'Now Eat This!'

by Eugenia Kim
Chef Rocco DiSpirito, host of cooking show Now Eat This!, has one major goal: Teaching you how to turn your favorite downfall dishes into healthy alternatives. In the show, he walks through each recipe, demonstrating not only how to cook the dish, but also how each substitution shaves off fat and calories, often reducing the fat or sugar content of each dish by over 50%. 

Tune in to Now Eat This! for more healthy eats and inspiration. Here's where to watch.

Here's 4 Of Our Favorite Food Hacks From the Show:

1. Trade Yellow Bananas For Green.

Although most of us reach for ripe, yellow bananas for snacks and smoothies, DiSpirito substitutes yellow bananas for unripe green bananas because the green fruits are carbohydrate resistant. Not only do green bananas have no carbs, carb-resistant foods helps our bodies burn fat for fuel. Additionally green bananas are high in fiber and contain all the B vitamins and potassium found in yellow bananas. So next time you’re making a smoothie, consider throwing in a green banana for its no carb, fat burning benefits!

Also on Z Living: 3 Clever Food Substitutions From 'Now Eat This!'

2. Substitute Shirataki Miracle Noodles for Pasta and Rice.

Zero-calorie noodles sounds like the stuff of myth and legend. (Just imagine being able to indulge in spaghetti without regrets, and then try and squeeze yourself into your skinny jeans!) But no-calorie noodles are real: One of DiSpirito's favorite products, Shirataki "miracle noodles"  are made of a yam by-product called konnayuku.
Shirataki noodles are gluten-free, vegan, and contain no calories or carbs. Shirataki can be found in many variations, from flat thin fettuccine pasta to short grain rice.
Shirataki pasta is a translucent white, (kind of like a rice or glass noodle found in Asian cuisine) and has no distinct flavor. The noodles instead absorb the flavors they're cooked in. Because of their high fiber, no-carb content, this alternative is perfect for people with type II diabetes and those looking to regulate their sugar intake.

3. Swap "White" Foods For Whole Wheat Everything.

wholewheat bread
Bad carbs are “simple carbohydrates” like white bread, white rice, and white flour pastas. They’re bad because they have very little nutritional value and are absorbed in the body as sugar. Chef DiSpirito encourages substituting all simple carbs for their whole wheat alternatives. Whole wheat alternatives are a better choice because they are good carbs, or complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber and have less sugar overall.

Also on Z Living: 8 Reasons We've Got A Mad Crush On Chef Rocco DiSpirito

4. Switch Sugar For Coconut Nectar.

For an all-natural sweetener, coconut nectar is DiSpirito's first choice. And while there are many natural sweeteners to choose from, from stevia, a zero-calorie plant-based sweetener, to agave nectar, a low-calorie honey alternative, coconut nectar is DiSpirito’s pick because it is low-glycemic, meaning blood sugar levels won't spike after consumption.
Coconut nectar is harvested similarly to maple syrup. Coconut palms are tapped for sap, which makes up the nectar. And coconut nectar is beneficial as a sugar substitute because it contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

WATCH on Z Living: Now Eat This! where chef Rocco DiSpirito challenges people to eat healthy by arming them with nutritious recipes and ingredients and giving instruction on proper ways to prepare the meals. See a sneak peek here.

Tell us in the comments: What are your favorite food hacks or substitutions?

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