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Slash Sugar and Calories With a “Light” Russian

Slash Sugar and Calories With a “Light” Russian

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A classic White Russian packs a whopping 33g of sugar in a single glass—ours? Just 4g. And it tastes delicious.

One of my all time favorite cocktails when I'm at a nice restaurant—because, let’s be real, most bars don’t stock the freshest milk—is the White Russian.

It’s arguably one of the smoothest, creamiest drinks. Of course, that's in large part due to the heavy dairy makeup. In the wintertime especially, I love the comforting, warm, chocolatey notes that this cocktail is so famous for.

But there’s one thing about the White Russian that holds me back: It is a heavy caloric sugar bomb.

The classic White Russian recipe, according to Kahlúa’s website, is shockingly simple—one part heavy cream, one part coffee liqueur, and one part vodka.

But it’s also shockingly bad for you: Just one of these is loaded with 590 calories, a heart-stopping 18g of saturated fat, and 33g of sugar. Doesn’t sound so smooth now, does it?

I wanted to be able to enjoy a White Russian with feeling so weighed down, so I headed to the Cooking Light test kitchen to figure out how could we preserve the classic taste, while ensuring lower calorie counts and a reasonable amount of sugar.

We chose to give it a vegan makeover, removing the heavy cream and Kahlúa, and substituting almond and coconut milk. Teaming up with Jamie Vespa, Cooking Light’s assistant nutrition editor, we boosted the signature flavor profile of the White Russian by including cold-brew coffee for a distinctly unbitter flavor, and relying on unsweetened cocoa powder to round it out. And since we got rid of the liquer, there was more room for vodka. Hooray!

Most importantly, our version can fit nicely in your daily diet and won’t wreck any of your dietary intakes. A glass of our “Light” Russian comes in at 150 calories, 4g of sugar, and a mere 2g of saturated fat.

This recipe makeover is easy to follow and all ingredients are available at your local supermarket. Here’s what you’ll need:


Serves one.

  • One tablespoon of cold brew coffee (any brand works fine, just stick to unsweetened for the best results).
  • 1/2 cup Silk (we used unflavored Silk almond milk; another brand may change the nutritional info slightly) almond milk, unsweetened.
  • 1/2 cup So Delicious original coconut milk, unsweetened.
  • 1 tsp generic cocoa powder, unsweetened.
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon hot water.
  • About 1 and 1/2 ounces of Tito’s vodka.


  1. In a measuring cup, combine almond milk and coconut milk. Stir in sugar.
  2. Using hot water as a base, whisk in unsweetened cocoa powder to create a syrup. Set aside.
  3. In a separate cocktail shaker, add cold brew and vodka over ice. Combine with syrup and shake.
  4. Pour mixture into cocktail glass of choice. Slowly add milk and lightly stir in.

The Calorie Count of All Your Favorite Cocktails

When you're toasting your best friend's promotion with a glass of wine or celebrating the end of the week with margaritas, the calories in your favorite drink are probably the last thing on your mind&mdashand you're not alone. Eighty percent of adults have no clue about the nutritional information in alocholic beverages, says a new study published in the journal BMJ. Considering that 10 percent of drinkers' daily calories come from alcohol, this can be a huge diet buster (especially when you consider the high sugar and salt levels of most adult beverages). Yet chances are, even if you went looking for this information, you wouldn't find it, since booze doesn't requite nutrition labels the way edibles and even non-alcoholic drinks do. This is why many experts are calling for mandatory nutrition labels on all drinks containing more than 1.5 percent alcohol. Until then, we've got the nutrition facts for some of the most popular drinks. Check out how sinister your favorite swigs are.

Why You Should Rethink Your Favorite Salad Dressing

Salad dressings are so flavorful and fun, and salad is one of the healthiest meals you can eat. What could go wrong, right? People turn to salads to lose weight, get some greens into their diet, eat healthy or to feel good.

However, many of the popular salad dressings – often to make salad taste better – contain a high amount of calories and fat. If you’re going to eat a salad, you might as well know what you’re putting on it. Here are some popular salad dressings that will probably make you rethink that caesar salad appetizer:

7. Caesar Salad

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Caesar salad dressing is not the greatest choice. Although it is a classic appetizer choice, it can rack up more calories than an actual meal. It has 158 calories and 16 grams of fat in only 2 tablespoons. If you can’t help but order this salad, just remember that a little goes a long way.

6. Oil & Vinegar

This dressing is the worst one to use if you’re watching your waistline. In just 2 tablespoons, it has 144 calories and 16 grams of fat. Even though oil is considered a good fat, I would recommend swapping this dressing for plain old vinegar.

5. Blue Cheese

Bleue cheese salad is also not healthy even though blue cheese is known for its health benefits. Blue cheese salad dressing has 140 calories and 14 grams of fat in only two tablespoons. To avoid piling on the calories, crumble a couple chunks of blue cheese on your salad instead to still get the flavor.

4. Italian

Italian salad dressing is a choice that is a little lighter in calories. It has 130 calories and 13 grams of fat. Still, I would recommend some lemon and honey to get that sweet flavor without the calories.

3. Honey Mustard

Honey mustard is another creamy salad dressing that will not make your salad any healthier. It has 130 calories and 11 grams of fat in 2 tablespoons. One good alternative is hummus to still get that creamy texture.

2. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic Vinaigrette is also not the greatest choice. The “vinaigrette” has 120 calories and 12 grams of fat in only 2 tablespoons. To still get the flavor of balsamic, I would swap out the vinaigrette for balsamic vinegar, which adds a zest and tang instead of cream and fat.

1. Thousand Island

This dressing has 118 calories and 11.2 grams of fat. Instead, you could use Greek Yogurt to slash the calories and still get that creamy flavor.

Some healthy salad dressings with little to no calories include: squeezing a lemon, dripping honey to get that sweetness, apple cider vinegar, balsamic or wine vinegar. But if you really can’t give up your caesar salad, you can choose dressings that are “lite” or “low-fat” and still enjoy your salad.


There’s no reason to hit up the drive-through when you can create and bring healthy, cheap keto meals for lunch. These five all-star recipes will make it much easier to reach your weight loss goals:

1. 4 Ingredient Low-Carb Cloud Bread

When you need a pita or sandwich bread, cloud bread offers a low-carb substitute for all your favorite lunch recipes. Add your choice of cold cuts, lettuce, and mayo or mustard. Pile up some bacon and avocado. Make an open-faced brunch sandwich with eggs and ham.

At just 35 calories and less than half a carb per piece, the possibilities are endless and guilt-free!

2. Ultimate Bell Pepper Sandwich

For a refreshing take on stuffed peppers, this ultimate bell pepper sandwich will have all your coworkers drooling. Replace your crusty sandwich bread with crunchy raw veggies like red peppers, and you’ll add antioxidants and vitamin C to your diet without carbs or gluten.

This light, satisfying, healthy recipe calls for smoked turkey breast, avocado, raw cheddar cheese, sprouts, and spinach. But you could easily switch it up with Mediterranean flavors (think: chicken, mozzarella cheese, and pesto) or fake a banh mi with pork, cilantro, and sriracha.

As pictured, this recipe is under 200 calories and five grams of net carbs, while packing 20 grams of protein, 20 grams of healthy fats, and nearly six grams of satiating fiber.

3. Easy Keto Chicken Salad

There are several reasons our easy keto chicken salad remains one of our top-rated recipes. First, this recipe makes six servings, more than enough for weekday lunches. And you can slash your meal prep time by using rotisserie chicken instead of baking chicken breasts from scratch.

It also contains two of the best foods for weight loss : celery and pecans. You can switch these up to keep boredom at bay by experimenting with additions like walnuts, almonds, cucumber, or hemp seeds. You can even swap tuna for chicken.

A one-cup serving as pictured only costs 279 calories for 19 grams of healthy fats, 25 grams of protein, and less than one gram of net carbs.

Enjoy with lettuce wraps, on keto cloud bread, or over a salad.

4. Crispy Keto Fried Chicken

Nothing beats crispy, crunchy fried chicken, and it’s even more tempting when you’re short on time and find yourself ordering takeout for lunch. So give in to your cravings with this keto fried chicken recipe.

Besides being low in carbs and gluten-free, you’ll also find a secret ingredient beneficial for your weight loss efforts: cayenne pepper. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper may boost your metabolism, which is why it also made our list of the best foods for weight loss [ * ].

This recipe delivers over 41 grams of protein and 23 grams of healthy fats for less than one net carb per serving. Winner, winner chicken dinner!

5. Simple Shrimp Ceviche


Join 90k+ people who are losing weight with Keto Kickstart, our doctor-developed program designed to give you real weight loss results.

You’re in! Check your email to get started with the program.

Ceviche is a cold seafood-based dish with Mexican, Caribbean, and South American variations. Despite hundreds of ceviche recipes, the main components always include a fresh, acidic marinade, seafood (like shrimp, octopus, or white fish), and pops of bright color from veggies such as cucumber, red onion, avocado, and tomato.

This light keto shrimp ceviche is sure to be the bright spot in your day. It’s bursting with flavor, protein, and healthy fats to support your weight loss goals. A serving is just 143 calories for 29 grams of protein and four net carbs.

Is rye bread healthier than wheat bread?

Rye flour is very rich in vitamins and minerals but it is no different to any other wholegrain flour. However what is great about rye flour is that it naturally contains more fibre. I love that! It is also lower in gluten.

What goes well with it?

Rye bread is an excellent addition to your bread basket served at a lovely dinner party or a holiday meal. It&rsquos also great in sandwiches as it adds so much extra flavour. It goes well with soups, stews or simply smeared with a bit of butter or topped with a slice of sharp cheese.

Added by

It was delicious BUT..I messed up and forgot to put the little kneading mechanism into the pan🙄 The bread rose then sunk in the middle. But it cooked and it's DELICIOUS!

1/3 cup brown sugar to,to, sweet. Made it your way now how to use it to the betterment. any ideas.

may I know if this is for a 750-g loaf or a 1kg loaf?

Perfect loaf, dough looked wet but I didn't add more flour, It rose beautifully. I also added 2 Tbsp. molasses and 2 tsp. fennel seed to mine.

I had trouble tracking down the rye flour but once I found it I made this recipe with great success.

I substituted canola oil for the butter to avoid dairy and, alas, the caraway (my wife hates them). Despite the changes, this rye bread is delicious with a light texture. I've added this to my library. Thanks

I make this as written or without caraway seeds depending upon what we feel like and it has quickly become a weekend tradition for me an my 2 young daughters (6 & 4) to make at least 1 loaf of this while little brother takes his afternoon nap. Then we have super yummy, fresh rye bread to go with dinner! I have the recipe memorized, but still pull it up so my oldest can help read ingredients & learn what different measurements are. So far the only negative is I can't keep my 4-year-old from licking her fingers when she helps pack the brown sugar into measuring cup!

I bought my bread machine specifically to make rye bread. The quality of the rye bread that we had been purchasing had fallen to a level I could no longer tolerate. I ordered a case of Hodgson Mill Caraway Rye and found the bread to be just what I wanted. But I really wanted to make my own. I found your recipe, made the bread today and it is just what I've been looking for. I had a few slices of the Hodgson bread left and put your recipe on one plate and the box rye on another. My family was unable to taste a difference, other than your recipe had a slightly stronger rye taste. I feel obligated to thank the person who submitted this It was delicious and easy.

Delicious and very easy recipe. If you live in high altitude area you will need to adjust your yeast so your bread does not rise too fast. then fall! The rule is to use 1/4 teaspoon less of yeast. It works for me. I live in Wyoming at 6,000 altitude. Other than the yeast, I did not change anything. This bread is soooo good and the texture is nice. And easy to make.

Dough is very thin, might go a little lighter on the water (I added an extra Tblspn of flour) but the loaf is perfect and delicious. Could probably cut the sugar to 1/4 cup.

Glycemic index

What foods have a high glycemic index? White breads and refined grains are high up the glycemic index. That means that it can cause blood sugar to go up more than lower glycemic foods.

A food can be classified as low, medium, or high on the glycemic index scale. You can improve the glycemic index of bread with a little switching around of the ingredients when you make your own bread at home.

Some of the foods that are on the low glycemic index list are:

  • Vegetables that are green in color
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Small berries
  • meat

Medium glycemic index foods are:

  • Almost all fruits
  • Whole grain products
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Whole wheat

High glycemic index foods are:

Switching white, refined flour for whole wheat flour is one way to reduce the glycemic index of bread. Processed foods will raise your blood sugar faster than unprocessed foods. You may find some homemade varieties at farmer’s markets that are healthier, simply because they are not processed. Often merchants have the nutritional information available for their recipes.

If you are in the grocery store, try some of the breads in our recommended list below. If you find a bread that is not on the list, make sure to read your nutritional facts label.

Once you have shopped for healthy bread, or baked your own, spread healthy fats on your breads instead of mayonnaise or sugary spreads. Avocado, flaxseed or olive oil can be brushed on your bread to give you some “good” cholesterol in your diet.

Your goal is to find bread with the least amount of added sugars. Look at the nutrition label for total carbohydrates to equal sugars. This means that all of the sugars in the bread are natural sugars, coming from the whole wheat, and that no sugar has been added to the product.

If the ingredient list is short, that’s a good sign. If there are words in there that you do not understand on the label, then it’s highly processed. Seeing a Registered Dietician to create a meal plan may help you to get on track.

This scrumptious kahlua cocktail with cream has acquired many variations since it first came on the cocktail scene in the mid 1060s.

The Vodka:

As with many strongly flavored alcoholic drinks this one pretty much obliterates the taste of the vodka. So go ahead and choose a less expensive brand. We usually go with Skyy or Smirnoff.

Coffee Liqueur:

You can use any coffee liqueur you prefer of course. Kahlua is my personal favorite.

Kahlua liqueur is distilled of rum, vanilla beans, sugar and Arabica coffee. It&rsquos a fantastic flavor.


The cream you choose will determine the richness of your White russian. The more fat the more rich your drink. We call for heavy cream to give you the best experience with this recipe.

10 Easy Ways To Slash Calories

C utting a few calories here and there won&rsquot show up on the scale immediately, but making consistent changes will. Here are10 effortless ways to sidestep excess calories throughout your day&mdashwithout missing them at all.

Drink your tea or coffee plain

A recent study published in the journal Public Health found that people who drink their coffee black consume about 69 fewer calories a day, compared to those who add cream, sugar and other extras to their cups. For tea drinkers, skipping the add-ins saves about 43 calories a day.

Get more fiber at breakfast

&ldquoIf you choose a high-fiber breakfast cereal, you&rsquore going to feel full sooner and eat less of it overall,&rdquo says dietitian Kristi King, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and clinical instructor at Baylor College of Medicine. Oats are one good option: In a 2015 study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (sponsored by the Quaker Oats Company), participants who ate oatmeal consumed 31% fewer calories at lunch than those who ate sugared corn flakes.

Swap soda for carbonated water

Cutting out one can of soda or sugar-sweetened beverage a day could save you about 150 calories. &ldquoMy favorite tip for cutting back on soda is to switch to sparkling water,&rdquo says King. &ldquoYou can add fruit or even a little sweetener if you want some extra flavor, but even then you&rsquoll be cutting way back on the sugar in soda.&rdquo Switching to diet soda will save you calories as well, but some research suggests you may compensate for them elsewhere.

Eat protein throughout the day

Eating meals and snacks with protein, found in nuts, seeds, lean meat, soy and dairy, can stop you from feeling hungry by mid-afternoon and yielding to candy’s sweet lure, says King. Research backs this up: A 2016 review published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that high-protein meals have a greater effect on fullness than low-protein ones.

Watch your salad toppings

Kudos for skipping the bread, but choosing a salad won&rsquot automatically save you calories. &ldquoYou really want to stick with veggies and be careful about the other stuff you&rsquore putting on there,&rdquo says King. &ldquoCheese, croutons, bacon and even dried fruit can be really high in calories, so if you&rsquore being very calorie-conscious, it&rsquos best to avoid those.&rdquo

Order food before you&rsquore hungry

If your favorite lunch spot has online ordering or a call-ahead option, take advantage of it. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Marketing Research found that people who selected catered food options at least an hour before eating tended to order fewer calories than those ordered at lunchtime and ate immediately. Waiting until you&rsquore hungry to decide what to eat increases your odds of overindulging, say the study authors.

Keep your kitchen clean

When it feels like everything around you is cluttered and chaotic, keeping your diet under control may seem like less of a priority, say researchers at the Cornell University Food & Brand Lab. In a 2016 study published in Environment and Behavior, they found that women who spent 10 minutes in a messy kitchen ate twice as many cookies&mdashand 53 more calories, on average&mdashthan those who waited in the same room when it was clean and organized.

Do more cooking at home

If you&rsquove already resolved to do more home cooking this year, it may help to know that&mdashon top of its other benefits&mdashthe habit helps you cut calories. A 2015 study in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who cooked dinner six or seven nights a week consumed about 150 calories fewer per day than those who cooked once a week or less. Frequent home cooks also tended to make healthier choices, and consume fewer calories, on nights they ate out.

Cut back on cooking oil

&ldquoWhen you&rsquore sautéing vegetables or cooking on the stovetop, one of the best things you can do to cut calories is to use a nonstick cooking spray instead of oil in your pan,&rdquo says King. (A tablespoon of oil has about 120 calories.) You can also sub in a few tablespoons of chicken, beef or vegetable broth, she adds. &ldquoIt will help prevent sticking to the pan and give your vegetables more flavor.&rdquo

Don&rsquot eat in front of the TV

Eating dinner (or even worse, a bag of potato chips) while watching television is asking for trouble, says King. Not only can we overeat because we&rsquore not paying attention to portion sizes, but our brains may not fully register that we&rsquove eaten at all, triggering hunger sensations soon after. The more distracting the entertainment, the worse news for your waistline: A 2014 study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who watched an action movie ate more calories than those who watched a low-key talk show.

Cutting Calories

Once you start looking, you can find ways to cut calories for your meals, snacks, and even beverages. Here are some examples to get you started.
Eat More, Weigh Less?
Eating fewer calories doesn&rsquot necessarily mean eating less food. To be able to cut calories without eating less and feeling hungry, you need to replace some higher calorie foods with foods that are lower in calories and fill you up. In general, these foods contain a lot of water and are high in fiber.

Rethink Your Drink
Most people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on food, but another way to cut calories may be to change what you drink. You may find that you&rsquore consuming quite a few calories just in the beverages you have each day. Find out how you can make better drink choices to reduce your calorie intake.

You may find that your portion sizes are leading you to eat more calories than you realize. Research shows that people unintentionally consume more calories when faced with larger portions. This can mean excessive calorie intake, especially when eating high-calorie foods.

How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight
Learn about fruits and vegetables and their role in your weight management plan. Tips to cut calories by substituting fruits and vegetables are included with meal-by-meal examples. You will also find snack ideas that are 100 calories or less. With these helpful tips, you will soon be on your way to adding more fruits and vegetables into your healthy eating plan.