How To Make Low-Fat, Low-Sodium Recipe Substitutions

Using low-saturated, trans fat, low-cholesterol, low-sodium recipes makes it easier to cook healthful meals. There’s a lot you can do with your favorite recipes or everyday meals to control the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium you eat. It’s a great way to have your cake and eat it too!

Here are our top 8 substitutions for healthy cooking:

  1. Whole Milk (1 cup) = 1 cup fat-free or non-fat milk + 1 tbsp unsaturated oil
  2. Heavy Cream (1 cup) = 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk or 1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plan, low-sodium and fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
  3. Sour Cream = Low-sodium and fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese plus low-fat or nonfat yogurt. Fat-free sour cream is also available.
  4. Cream Cheese = 4 tbsp unsalted tub or liquid margarine blended with 1 cup dry, low-sodium and fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese. Add a small amount of fat-free milk if needed.
  5. Butter (1 tbsp) = 1 tbsp unsalted tub or liquid margarine or 3/4 tbsp polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oil. Use 1/4 tbsp margarine for 1 tbsp oil.
  6. Shortening (1 cup) = 1 cup unsalted or liquid margarine. For pies use 1/2 cup margarine for every 2 cups of flour. To reduce your calories in muffins or quick breads, substitute 1 cup applesauce for a cup of butter, margarine, oil, or shortening.
  7. Eggs (1 egg) = 1 egg white plus 2 tsp of unsaturated oil, or use a cholesterol-free egg substitute.
  8. Unsweetened Baking Chocolate (1 oz) = 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder + 1 tsp polyunsaturated oil or unsalted tub or liquid margarine. Caron is sweeter than cocoa, so reduce the sugar in recipe by 1/4.

Can I Use Vegetable Oil?

Use of liquid vegetable oils that have no more than 2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon when cooking requires using fat. That includes browning meats, sauteing, or in sauces and soups.

How Else Can I Reduce Sodium?

Eating more sodium (salt) than the body needs can lead to high blood pressure in some people. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart problems or have a stroke. Your goal should be to consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium each day. To help you can:

  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor food.
  • Choose fresh, frozen or canned vegetables with no added salt or very low sodium.
  • Read food labels carefully, watching for sodium in the ingredient list. Also, check the Nutrition Facts label, compare the sodium content of similar food products and choose the one with the lowest sodium content.

Want to learn more about eating a heart-healthy diet? Talk to your doctor. If you have heart disease or have had a stroke, members of your family may also be at higher risk, and it’s very important for them to make changes now to lower their risk.

+ Find a cardiovascular specialist in Hampton Roads!

+ Find a primary care physician in Hampton Roads!

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