Healthy Ingredient Substitutes

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Have you ever found a recipe that sounds absolutely wonderful, but then decided not to make it because it sounded too fattening, or just too unhealthy overall? Many recipes can easily be made healthier by merely replacing one or more of the ingredients, without sacrificing the taste or appearance of the dish.

The following list shows you how you can make simple ingredient substitutions that can help reduce the amount of calories, fat, sodium, cholesterol, and sugar in your meals.

So, the next time you see a recipe that looks great but are concerned about the nutrition value, use this list to substitute one or more of the ingredients. These changes can lead to a long-term habit of healthy ingredient substitutions, while allowing you to expand your healthy recipe collection.

If your recipe lists this ingredient…
Try this ingredient…
Bacon
Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, smoked turkey or lean prosciutto (Italian ham)
Bread (white)
Whole grain bread
Bread crumbs (dry)
Rolled oats or crushed bran cereal
Butter, margarine, shortening or oil (baked goods)
Applesauce or prune puree for half of the called-for butter, shortening or oil; butter spreads or shortenings specially formulated for baking that don’t have trans fats
(To avoid dense, soggy or flat baked goods, do not substitute oil for butter or shortening. Do not substitute diet, whipped, or tub-style margarine for regular margarine.)
Butter, margarine, shortening, or oil (to prevent sticking)
Cooking spray or nonstick pans
Cheese
Low-fat or fat-free cheese (fat-free cheese does not melt very well)
Cream (heavy)
Evaporated skim milk or fat-free half-and-half
Cream cheese (full fat)
Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel, ricotta, or low-fat cottage cheese pureed until smooth
Eggs
Two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute for each whole egg
Fruit canned in heavy syrup
Fruit canned in its own juices or in water, or fresh fruit
(You can also rinse the canned in water to rinse off the syrup)
Ground beef
Extra-lean or lean ground beef, chicken or turkey breast (no poultry skin)
Mayonnaise
Reduced-calorie mayonnaise-type salad dressing or reduced-calorie, reduced-fat mayonnaise
Milk (whole)
Low fat or non-fat milk
Milk chocolate chunks
1/2 the amount of mini milk chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate
Oil-based marinades
Wine, balsamic vinegar, fruit juice, or fat-free broth
Rice (white)
Brown rice, wild rice, bulgur or pearl barley
Seasoning salt, such as garlic salt, celery salt, or onion salt
Herb-only seasonings (such as garlic powder, celery seed or onion flakes) or use finely chopped herbs or garlic, celery, or onions
Shortening
Vegetable oil
Soups, creamed
Fat-free milk-based soups, mashed potato flakes, or pureed carrots, potatoes, or tofu for thickening agents
Sour cream
Plain yogurt or reduced-fat cottage cheese (blended)
Sugar
In most baked goods, you can reduce the amount of sugar by one-half, then intensify the sweetness by adding vanilla, nutmeg, or cinnamon
Syrup
Pureed fruit, such as applesauce or low-calorie, sugar-free syrup
Table salt
Herbs, spices, citrus juices (lemon, lime, orange), rice vinegar, salt-free seasoning mixes, or herb blends
Yogurt (fruit-flavored)
Plain yogurt with fresh fruit slices
 
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Healthy Ingredient Substitutes — 3 Comments

  1. Heya¡­my very first comment on your site. ,I have been reading your blog for a while and thought I would

    completely pop in and drop a friendly note. . It is great stuff indeed. I also wanted to ask..is there a

    way to subscribe to your site via email?

    Eating Healthy Food

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