Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Low-Fat Cooking Questions


There are many recipe substitutions you can make to create a low-fat meal.
There are many recipe substitutions you can make to create a low-fat meal.
Sanja Gjenero

Q. What substitutions can I use to make some of my favorite recipes healthier?

A. If you have a recipe you want to make healthier? Try any of these simple substitutions.

  • Instead of 1 cup heavy cream (except whipped), try 1 cup evaporated skim milk.
  • Instead of 1/2 cup butter/margarine (in baked goods), try 1/4 cup applesauce or prune purée.
  • Instead of 1 cup sour cream, try 1 cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt.
  • Instead of 1 egg, try 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute.
  • Instead of ground beef, try lean ground turkey breast.
  • Instead of oil or butter for sautéing, try chicken or vegetable broth or nonstick vegetable cooking spray.

Remember that although reduced-fat and low-fat versions of products like sour cream and cream cheese can yield delicious results, fat-free versions don't always behave like their full-fat counterparts. Use caution when substituting fat-free products, especially in dishes that are heated.

Now that you know some basic low-fat recipe substitutions, it's time to try cooking some yourself. For some helpful low-fat cooking steps and recipe suggestions, visit: