yellow squash, harvested in home gardens near the end of the summer but available in supermarkets year-round, belongs to the same family as zucchini and acorn squash. Served unadorned, it is low in calories, but many recipes call for high-calorie or high-fat ingredients that add considerably to the calorie count.
Calories in Squash
A 3-oz. serving of yellow squash has 17 calories, 2 of which come from fat, according to the WolframAlpha webiste. It provides some nutrition with those few calories, including 8 percent of the daily value of vitamin C, 5 percent of magnesium and 4 percent of vitamin A and folate.
Though recipes vary, baked squash typically is breaded or battered, or it is diced and topped with a mixture of butter and bread crumbs. These ingredients detract from the otherwise healthy nutritional profile of yellow squash. For example, a 1-cup serving of breaded or battered squash has 156 calories, according to the FitDay website.
Restaurant Baked Squash
Restaurants usually favor flavor over a low calorie profile, so expect baked squash from a restaurant to be more calorie-intense than plain squash. For example, Calorie Lab reports that a single side of yellow squash at one popular restaurant has 117 calories.
If you are making squash at home, reduce calories by eliminating the bread crumbs, butter and batter. Instead, drizzle a bit of olive oil on your squash, mix it with diced garlic, and grill it. Serve your squash with grilled onions.
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Jon Williams is a clinical psychologist and freelance writer. He has performed, presented and published research on a variety of psychological and physical health issues.