Healthy Substitutions

Source: The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food & Nutrition Guide
by Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, CFCS

Canadian bacon
Lean ham

Butter, lard, and other saturated fat (coconut oil, palm oil)
Soft tub margarine (first ingredient on food label listed as liquid vegetable oil)*

Corn, cottonseed, olive, rapeseed (canola), safflower, sesame, soybean or sunflower oil

*(When cooking, it is better not to substitute reduced-fat margarine or corn oil spreads for regular butter and margarine unless a recipe has been specifically developed for their use. Their increased water content can make a substantial difference in the food's taste, appearance and texture).

1 ounce baking chocolate = 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon oil

Evaporated skim milk

Cream soup
Defatted broths

Broth-based or skim milk-based soups

Full-fat cheese
Low-fat, skim-milk cheese

Cheese with less than 5 grams of fat per ounce

Fat-free cheese

Ground Beef
Extra lean ground beef

Lean ground turkey or chicken

Ice Cream
Low-fat or nonfat ice cream

Frozen low-fat or nonfat yogurt

Frozen fruit juice products


Low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise

Whipped salad dressing

Plain low-fat yogurt combined with low-fat cottage cheese

Dried fruit such as raisins, chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries

Ricotta cheese
Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese

Nonfat or low-fat ricotta cheese

Salad dressing
Low-calorie commercial dressings

Homemade dressing made with unsaturated oils, water, and vinegar or lemon juice

Lean ground turkey

95% fat-free sausage

Sour cream
Plain low-fat yogurt

1/2 cup cottage cheese blended with 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Fat-free sour cream

Whipped cream
Chilled, whipped evaporated skim milk

Nondairy whipped topping made from polyunsaturated fat

Whole egg
Two egg whites

1/4 cup cholesterol-free liquid egg product

1 egg white plus 2 teaspoons oil

One egg yolk = One egg white

One egg (as thickener) = 1 tablespoon flour

Whole milk (as a beverage or in recipes)
Skim, 1 percent or 2 percent milk

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