19 sneaky low-fat substitutions that your family will never notice

Here’s a secret: Food can be both tasty and healthy!

Try these cooking hacks. Replace ¼ cup of butter or oil in a recipe with fruit puree or applesauce to save over 400 calories and 48 grams of fat. Use 94% lean ground beef instead of 85% lean ground beef to save 80 calories and 8 grams of fat per 4 oz. burger.

With these low-fat substitutions, no one will miss the fat or calories the next time you prepare a family meal or bring a dish to a party. And they certainly won’t miss the extra inches on the waistline.

High-Fat Foods Lower-Fat Alternatives
American cheese, cheddar cheese 2% or fat-free cheese slices
Bacon Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, smoked turkey or lean prosciutto
Butter, shortening or oil in baked goods Applesauce or prune puree for one half of the called-for butter, shortening or oil
Butter, margarine, shortening or oil to prevent sticking Cooking spray or nonstick pans
Creamed soups Fat-free milk-based soups, mashed potato flakes, pureed carrots, potatoes or tofu for thickening agents
Eggs Two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute for each whole egg
Evaporated whole milk Evaporated skim milk
Full-fat cream cheese Fat-free or light cream cheese (Neufchatel) or low-fat cottage cheese pureed until smooth
Full-fat sour cream Fat-free or low-fat sour cream, plain fat-free or Greek yogurt
Ground beef Extra-lean or lean ground beef, chicken or turkey breast (make sure no poultry skin has been added to product)
Margarine in baked goods Applesauce or plain yogurt for one half of the margarine
Stick margarine Trans-fat-free tub margarine or light margarine
Mayonnaise Reduced-calorie mayonnaise-type salad dressing or reduced-calorie, reduced-fat mayonnaise
Meat as the main ingredient Three times as many vegetables as the meat on pizzas or in casseroles, soups and stews
Ramen noodles Rice noodles or spaghetti noodles
Oil-based marinades Wine, balsamic vinegar, fruit juice or fat-free broth
Whole milk ricotta cheese Part-skim or fat-free ricotta cheese
Salad dressing Fat-free or reduced-calorie dressing or flavored vinegar
Whole milk Skim milk or 1% milk