Healthy Food Recipes: A Guide to Substitute Ingredients


Healthy Food Recipes: A Guide to Substitute Ingredients

Use this guide to learn how you can make simple food ingredient substitutions to boost the benefits of healthy recipes.

Healthy Food Recipes: A Guide to Substitute Ingredients

​Preparing healthy recipes can be easier than you think. You can create simple substitutes for ingredients to create healthy recipes that don't waste the taste and enjoy the food.

To prepare healthy food recipes, first look at what you have on hand in your pantry. You may have more health-friendly ingredients and not even realize it. And if you don't have ingredients on hand to make healthy recipes, have a shopping list ready the next time you go to the store.

Use this guide to food substitutions to help reduce the amount of fat, salt, sugar, and calories when preparing healthy recipes.

Your guide to food ingredient substitutions for healthy recipes

If a recipe requires this nutrient:Try the alternative:
porkBeef, smoked turkey, or lean bacon (Italian smoked meat)
bread, whiteWhole grain bread
Breadcrumbs, dryCrushed oats or bran cereals
Butter, margarine, shortening, or oil in baked goods/oven grills

Apple juice or prune puree with half the amount of butter, shortening or oil as required, or an amount of butter or shortening specially prepared for the baking process and not containing trans fats

Note: To avoid making baked goods that are too dense, too moist, or flat, don't substitute oil for butter or shortening. Also, don't replace whipped, moderately concentrated, or reduced-fat margarine with regular vegetable shortening.
Butter, margarine, shortening, or oil to prevent food from stickingNon-stick food spray or non-stick cookware
creamBalanced fat-free, skimmed evaporated milk
Cream cheese, full fatAdd fat-free or reduced-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel, or low-fat cottage cheese, mashed until completely blended.
eggsTwo egg whites or 1/4 cup of eggs in place of each whole egg
Flour suitable for many uses (regular)

Flour made from whole wheat for half the amount of all-purpose flour on-demand in baked goods

Note: Whole-wheat baking flour is less dense and goes well with softer products, such as cakes and pancakes.
Canned fruits packed in syrupCanned fruits in their own juices or in water or fresh fruits
ground beefThe extra lean or lean kind of ground beef, or ground beef or turkey breast (make sure you don't add poultry skin to the product)
captcha lettuceWatercress, chicory, cabbage, dandelion leaves, kale, Indian mustard, spinach, or watercress
mayonnaiseLow-calorie mayonnaise salad dressing, or low-calorie, low-fat mayonnaise
Meat as the main ingredient in foodThree times more vegetables than meat on pizza or in casseroles, soups, and stews
milk, evaporatorSkimmed evaporated milk
Milk, full fatLow-fat or fat-free milk
Oil-based seasoningsBalsamic vinegar, fruit juice, or fat-free broth
Rich Pasta (White)Whole wheat pasta
White RiceBrown rice, wild rice, bulgur, or granulated barley
power seasoningFat-free or low-calorie dressing or flavored vinegar
Seasoning salts, such as garlic salt, celery salt, or onion saltOnly herbal seasonings, such as garlic powder, celery seeds, onion flakes, herbs, finely chopped garlic, celery, or onions
Skim soupSkimmed milk-based soups, mashed potato chips, mashed carrots, potatoes, or tofu for thicker ones
Soups, sauces, dressings, crackers, canned meat, fish, or vegetablesLow-sodium species
Sour cream, full fatFat-free or low-fat sour cream, or plain yogurt (without any flavors), fat-free or low-fat
soy sauceSweet and sour sauce or hot sauce from Indian mustard or low sodium soy sauce
SugarIn most baked goods, you can cut the amount of sugar in half and increase the sweetness by adding vanilla, nutmeg, or cinnamon.
juicesPureed fruits, such as apples, or low-calorie, sugar-free juices
saltHerbs, spices, citrus fruit juices (lime, lime, or orange), rice vinegar, salt-free seasoning blends, or herbal blends
Fruit flavored yogurtLow-fat plain yogurt with fresh fruit slices