Easy Substitutions for a Low-fat Diet

Here’s a list of food substitutions you can use for reducing the fat in your daily diet. I’ve also included some healthier substitutions for refined sugar. They are all simple and easy to use, it’s just a matter of incorporating them into your daily life.

Low-fat Substitutions

Replacing the Fat:

* Use low-fat or non-fat yogurt in place of sour cream.

Low-fat or non-fat buttermilk in place of whole.

Skim milk or fat-free instead of whole and even 2%.

Applesauce can be used in place of butter when cooking foods, as well as substituted for the oil used in baking. Use 2/3 the amount of applesauce in place of the fat originally called for. (Some recipes may require a little less or a little more, you may need to experiment. You can also add 1 T. of oil for each 1/4 c. of applesauce when baking cookies so they won’t turn out mushy.)

* In addition to applesauce, you can also use pureed fruit and vegetables (bananas, prunes, pumpkin, squash and others) as a fat substitute. Don’t be shocked, but these items can be used in the form of baby food!

Apple butter is great in spice cakes and muffins, and fruit juice (orange or apple) can even be used to replace the fat in some recipes, like carrot cake.

* Instead of vegetable oil use olive, safflower, sesame or flaxseed oils.

* Forget the butter and oils, kick up the seasonings!

Replacing the Refined Sugar:

Of course, along with eating a diet low-in-fat, cutting back on sugar will improve your health as well. I realize not everyone is willing, or able, to use artificial sweeteners, including yours truly. So, if you must use a sweetener, as with baked goods, try using one of these healthier options instead…

* Apple butter

* Fruit juice concentrates

* Fruit spreads

* Honey

* Pureed prunes

* Pure maple sugar

* Molasses

Eggs and Meat:

* 1 large egg = 1 1/2 large egg whites

* 1 large egg = 3 T. egg substitute

* Use ground turkey or a vegetable meat substitute in place of beef, just add more seasonings and you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference. After a while, you’ll adapt to the milder flavor of the turkey or vegetable meat substitute and probably dislike the strong flavor of ground beef.

* Another option is to rinse the ground beef after browning it, although this won’t work for hamburger patties, since most of the fat is sealed inside. But if you’ve used the ground turkey or vegetable meat substitute, this won’t be a problem.

* You can still have beef on a low-fat diet, but moderation is the key. The general rule is to have it only once or twice a week, and the serving size should be approximately the same size as the palm of your hand.

* Of course, FISH is the best healthy choice! And chicken or turkey is probably second in line. I am not an expert on vegetarian diets, but I do know that there are many protein substitutes such as soy, beans, legumes, and certain nuts. (Peanuts are considered a lugeme, and all nuts are best eaten in the raw form. Almonds are the most healthy, but, as with all nuts, a small amount goes a long way because of the fat content and high calorie count.)


* Use natural peanut butter only, not the solidified kind we all love and grew up on, they are filled with hydrogenated fat… very, very, bad stuff!

* Try these additional flavorings in place of fat to spice up vegetable, fish, poultry and meat dishes…

Vinegars – balsamic, raspberry
Mustards and horseradish
Fresh lemon or lime juice
Hoisin or teriyaki sauces
V-8 juice
Cocktail sauce, BBQ sauce, ketchup

Cheese – you can use the low-fat substitutes available at the store, or make your own yogurt cheese. Drain a container of low-fat plain yogurt in a strainer lined with coffee filters, or cheesecloth, overnight. (May require a longer time to reach a firm texture.) I wonder if this would be good for a cheesecake? I bet it would, will have to try that!

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