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10 Substitute Ingredients for Lighter Cooking

Healthy Oils

Every diet requires a little fat in order to process some vitamins and even reduce the risk of heart disease. However, many people are ingesting far too much of the unhealthy trans fats found in processed foods.

One way to cut down on excessive fat consumption is to reduce the amount of unhealthy oils you consume each day. For instance, if you usually grease a pan with oil, shortening or butter, seize this opportunity to make the switch to cooking spray instead. When oil can't be avoided, brushing it on with a pastry brush, rather than dumping it in the pan, is a much healthier cooking technique. As for which type of oil to use, canola is by far the preferred oil of choice for most healthy cooks. In addition to the fact that it contains half the amount of saturated fat as most other oils, canola oil is rife with healthy monounsaturated fats, which provide flavor and help fill you up faster [source: WebMD].

Oil products can be eschewed entirely in recipes for muffins, cookies or other baked goods. Simply substituting applesauce or nonfat yogurt is all it takes to drastically reduce fat and calorie content without sacrificing flavor or moistness.