oreo thins on store shelf

Photograph: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Photos/LightRocket (Getty Photos)

Right here at The Takeout, we’re not large followers of weight loss plan tradition. We don’t suppose the phrase “guilt” belongs anyplace close to meals, and we consider you must get pleasure from what you want while you prefer it. Nonetheless, that’s by no means going to cease us from tasting alternate variations of merchandise out of our personal curiosity, whether or not it’s a sugar-free model of a beverage, a baked model of potato chips, or in any other case modified candies and cookies. Because it seems, a few of these merchandise can style fairly good—even higher than the unique. We focus on our favourite alternate options to common grocery retailer merchandise.

I’ll take the Spam Lite, please

Man, I like Spam in just about every part you possibly can put it in. I’ve eaten it chilly out of the can (don’t decide me), fried up on a sandwich, on pizza with pineapple, in Spam musubi, fried rice, and in ramen. I notably prefer it with any type of eggs. However in case you’re a Spam fanatic like me, you’ll know that there’s one high quality about it that’s an enormous detractor: it’s a salt bomb. It’s additionally fairly greasy too, so once I’m cooking with it, I take that into critical consideration.

Due to this, once I use Spam as an ingredient in a dish with a number of different elements, I all the time seize Spam Lite. It has 50% much less fats than the unique model and 25% much less sodium, which suggests I can management the steadiness in the remainder of the dish with out the entire dish toppling over into heavy oblivion. What’s fairly exceptional is that you simply’re not sacrificing a ton of taste that manner, too, it’s nonetheless undeniably Spam. Simply because there’s much less salt in it doesn’t imply it’s not nonetheless salty, both.

However, and this can be a large however, if I’m simply pan-frying the stuff to eat with some eggs for breakfast, I am going for the fully-leaded stuff. It does marvels for a hangover. —Dennis Lee, employees author

Bury me under a mountain of Crystal Light powder

Crystal Light is one of those obnoxious products marketed to Women On The Go. It’s a line of ultra-low-calorie beverage powders (women hate calories!!!), and the commercials usually involve a busy mom or high-powered lady executive downing it before engaging in some sort of rapid feminine activity like driving or writing on a legal pad.

Bad ads aside, I’m disgustingly loyal to Crystal Light Pomegranate Lemonade. It tastes like a damn sno-cone, but doesn’t send me crashing like juice or soda because it’s so low in sugar. Of course, it’s full of artificial sweeteners, which will make you fart. I repeat: Crystal Light. Will. Make. You. Fart. I’m farting right now. Bear that in mind.—Lillian Stone, staff writer

Vitamins and hydration, hold the sugar

I know there’s some debate over just how “healthy” Vitaminwater is in the first place, but that’s not actually why I drink it. When I first started drinking the zero sugar version of the brand, I figured hydration and not contributing to my daily sugar intake couldn’t hurt. Turns out, the sugarless drink, Vitaminwater Zero, tastes better than the original. I even got my mom hooked on the stuff. Trying the original sugar-packed version now, I realize it’s way too sweet. Hard to finish a bottle at all.

Even better than that, for the Costco devotees, buying the Kirkland brand, VitaRain, is cheaper and just as good. We’re always told to drink more water; sometimes you just need a little flavor in it. Reach for the zero-sugar lemonade flavor and you’ll thank me later. —Angela L. Pagán, staff writer

Reduced Fat Wheat Thins are God’s gift to dip

I only ever want to celebrate what a good amount of fat can bring to any dish. You’ll never hear me condemn the presence of fat. But nine times out of ten, a cracker is more a utility player than the main event, so it doesn’t have to be bursting with flavor. Reduced Fat Wheat Thins are superior to classic Original in almost every way: they’re much sturdier, with zero crumbling, and they can hold firm as you scoop up even the thickest, most rotisserie-chicken-loaded dip the Midwest can throw at you. They also taste saltier, since salt is one of the few flavors the cracker has left to offer once you trim the fatty nut flavors away. It’s a nicely straightforward dip delivery mechanism, which should honestly be written right on the front of the box. —Marnie Shure, editor in chief

I worship at the altar of Diet Coke

Diet Coke is not just a drink, it is a lifestyle. As a Diet Coke lover, I’m here to say that you’re either with us or against us. There’s a crispness, a lightness, and, yes, a sort of unexplainable possibly chemical taste that cannot be matched. And it should be stressed: This is in no way a healthy food as some “diet” foods claim to be. We all know that soda is unhealthy for us, however not each glowing beverage I throw down my gullet generally is a La Croix. Once I wish to indulge, Weight-reduction plan Coke is there for me. Get out of right here along with your thick, syrupy, cavity-inducing common Coca-Cola, and toss me a slick silver can of the good things in your manner out the door. —Brianna Wellen, affiliate editor

The one frozen pizza I acknowledge is Banza

Earlier this yr I ate a ridiculous quantity of “wholesome” frozen pizza for the sake of journalism, and a whole lot of them had been borderline inedible. The excellent news is that there’s a shocking quantity of excellent healthy-ish frozen pizza on the market to be devoured, and one model received my coronary heart in such totality, I now choose it to all different frozen pizzas: Banza Pizza. This product includes a chickpea-based crust wealthy with olive oil, plus it’s excessive in fiber, excessive in protein, low in internet carbs, and gluten-free. It’s far more flavorful than 90% of what you’ll discover within the freezer aisle. —Allison Robicelli, employees author

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