Smart Cooking: Using Lower-Fat Ingredients

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Two girls in the kitchen cooking

On 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 incorporate these tips into recipes.

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