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

Do you want to eat healthier but believe that food cannot be both tasty AND healthy?

Learning how to prepare healthier meals and snacks is easy when you have the tools and tips at your fingertips. With these low-fat substitions, 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!

Just replacing ¼ cup of butter or oil in a recipe with fruit puree or applesauce will save over 400 calories and 48 grams of fat. Using 94 percent lean ground beef instead of 85 percent lean ground beef will save 80 calories and 8 grams of fat per 4 oz burger. When deciding whether to bake or fry, think about this: A fried chicken breast without the skin has 316 calories and 8 grams of fat, but a mouth-watering Crispy Oven “Fried” Chicken breast has only 160 calories and 2 grams of fat. If you opt for the artery-clogging fried version, you will need to walk an additional 1.5 miles to burn off the calorie difference.

You can have a brownie for dessert; substitute the ½ cup oil with applesauce in the recipe (saving over 900 calories and 106 grams of fat).

Take this list with you next time you go grocery shopping. Your family will never notice that they’re eating healthier!

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, margerine, 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 vinegars
Whole milk Skim milk or 1% milk

The Christiana Care Department of Family & Community Medicine and ShopRite, as part of the Diabetes Prevention & Care Project, funded by a grant from the Ammon Foundation, is offering a combination of lectures, table displays and tours at all ShopRite store locations throughout Delaware. The free monthly sessions are designed to educate people about making healthy food choices in an ideal classroom setting: the supermarket.

Each month focuses on a certain subject, with topics for the sessions ranging from watching your cholesterol to gluten-free shopping. The September topic is “Cholesterol Month: Smart for Your Heart.” The lecture will be offered between 5:30 – 7:30 pm on Sep. 5 at ShopRite Governors Square-Bear, Sep. 10 at ShopRite Newark-Chestnut Plaza, Sep. 12 at ShopRite Brandywine Commons-202, Sep. 17 at ShopRite First State Plaza-Stanton, Sep. 26 at ShopRite Christiana Crossing-Wilmington.