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Healthy recipes: A guide to ingredient substitutions

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 6, 2021.

Whipping up healthy meals may be easier than you think. Use this guide to make simple ingredient substitutions to reduce salt and saturated fat — and boost fiber — in your favorite recipes.

If a recipe calls for this: Try using this:
Bread crumbs, dry Rolled oats or crushed bran cereal
Butter, margarine, shortening or oil in baked goods Applesauce or prune puree for half of the called-for butter, shortening or oil; trans-free spreads or shortenings formulated for baking
Butter, margarine or shortening to prevent sticking Cooking spray
Canned meat, fish, vegetables and soups Low-sodium or reduced-sodium versions
Cream Fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk
Cream cheese, full fat Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel cheese, or pureed low-fat cottage cheese
Eggs Two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute for each whole egg
Flour, all-purpose (plain) Whole-wheat flour for half of the flour called for in baked goods
Ground beef Extra-lean or lean ground beef, ground chicken breast or ground turkey breast
Mayonnaise Reduced-calorie, reduced-fat mayonnaise
Meat Vegetables for half of the meat called for in casseroles, soups and stews
Milk, evaporated Evaporated skim milk
Milk, whole Reduced-fat or fat-free milk
Pasta, enriched (white) Whole-wheat pasta
Rice, white Brown rice, wild rice, bulgur wheat 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 finely chopped fresh herbs, garlic, celery or onions
Sour cream, full fat Fat-free or low-fat sour cream, or plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt

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