Smart Cooking: Using Lower-Fat Ingredients

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MilkOn average, Americans consume around 50 percent more fat than is considered healthy. If you need to lower your fat intake, a simple way to do so is to make some easy changes to your ingredient choices when cooking. When adapting recipes you can use the same quantity of a low-fat ingredient to replace a high-fat ingredient - and you'll save on calories and fat.

Check out the table below for ideas. And to see these tips put into practice in recipes, go to the Recipes area of CalorieKing and view our Recipe Makeovers.

 

Ingredient Alternative

Full-fat milk

  • Fat-free milk (save 56 calories, 7.4g fat per cup)

 

Yogurt

  • Low-fat or non-fat yogurt

 

Cream

  • Fat-free evaporated milk (save 39 calories, 6g fat per Tbsp)
  • Low-fat ricotta cheese blended with skim milk

 

Coconut milk/cream

  • Low-fat coconut milk (save 147 calories, 12g fat per 1/2 cup)

 

Sour cream

  • Reduced-fat sour cream
  • Low-fat plain yogurt
  • Low-fat buttermilk
  • Low-fat ricotta cheese blended with low-fat yogurt

 

Cream cheese

  • Low-fat ricotta cheese (save 62 calories, 8g fat per ounce)
  • Quark cheese

 

Cheddar cheese

  • Use low-fat varieties in smaller servings (save 71 calories, 9g fat per 1 oz)
  • Use 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese to replace 1/2 cup cheddar as it has a stronger flavor and you can use less

 

Chicken

  • Remove the skin
  • Control portion sizes (3.5 oz uncooked per person without bones, 7 oz with bones)

 

Meat

  • Trim all visible fat
  • Choose lean cuts
  • Control portion sizes (3.5 oz uncooked per person)

 

Bacon

  • Use turkey bacon (save 165 calories, 14g fat per 2 oz)
  • Use Canadian bacon (save 202 calories, 19g fat per 2 oz)
  • Use 97% fat-free varieties

 

Butter/margarine

  • Choose low-fat spreads
  • Use applesauce or prune puree in baking to keep cakes moist

 

Oil

  • Cooking spray (save 117 calories, 14g fat per Tbsp)
  • Use applesauce or prune puree in baking to keep cakes moist

 

Mayonnaise

  • Fat-free plain yogurt (save 95 calories, 10g fat per 1oz)
  • Reduced-fat mayonnaise