Chef Cheryl Forberg puts flavor first

Tue May 3, 2011 6:01am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - As the nutritionist for television show "The Biggest Loser," Cheryl Forberg has witnessed up-close the dietary trials, tribulations and missteps of Americans struggling with obesity.

About to begin her 12th season with the hit reality weight-loss show, Forberg said she believes that many attempts to lose weight founder on taste buds so corrupted by over-salted, highly processed foods that healthier alternatives taste bland in comparison.

In her new cookbook, "Flavor First: Cut Calories and Boost Flavor with 75 Delicious, All-Natural Recipes," the James Beard award-winning chef and registered dietitian, focuses on boosting flavor naturally.

Forberg, who lives in Napa Valley, California, spoke to Reuters about going from over-processed to fresh without losing flavor.

Q: How would you describe your book's approach to healthy eating?

A: "I believe if we focus on the quality of calories, the quantity will take care of itself, so I take fresh, wholesome ingredients and create condiments and marinades that are loaded with flavor, but natural flavor, that isn't concentrated in unhealthy fats and calories."

Q: What have you learned from your experience on "The Biggest Loser"?

A: "I've been with the show since the beginning and I see the same things over and over again. A lot of people misunderstand what eating healthy is all about. Having a salad is a great thing, but if you douse it in half a cup of ranch dressing, it can negate the benefits you were trying to accomplish."   Continued...