Fat & Calorie Saver Guide

Healthy Substitutes

Use these charts for tasty low-fat substitutes of everyday ingredients. Many small changes can make a big difference. Making lower-fat substitutions just twice a week for a year could result in weight loss and health gains!

To save calories, reduce the amount of fat and sugar that you eat, try some of these suggested substitutes for a new twist on your favorite dishes.

Butter, Margarine and Oil Substitutes

Instead of using:Try this:Fat saved (g)
Butter or margarineApple sauce11g/1 Tbsp.
Low-sugar jam11g/1 Tbsp.
Reduced-calorie margarine5 g/1 Tbsp.
Cooking oil spray14 g/1 Tbsp.
Oil for cookingLow-fat broth28g/2 Tbsp.

Dairy Products

Instead of using:Try this:Fat saved (g)
½ cup regular ricotta cheeseNonfat ricotta cheese16
2 Tbsp. heavy whipping creamEvaporated skim milk10
2 Tbsp. regular cream cheeseNonfat cream cheese10
1 oz. regular full fat cheeseNonfat cheese9
1 oz. regular full fat cheeseReduced-fat cheese4
1 cup whole milkSkim milk8
1 cup whole yogurtNonfat yogurt7
2 Tbsp. regular sour creamNonfat sour cream5
½ cup whole milk cottage cheeseNonfat cottage cheese4

Meat and Poultry

Instead of using:Try this:Fat saved (g)
3 ounces ground beefGround skinless turkey breast16
Extra-lean ground beef7
3 ounces beef, steakLowfat chicken, turkey or fish7
2 slices regular bolognaFat-free turkey bologna16
1 ounce regular hamFat-free ham6

Sauces and Condiments

Instead of using:Try this:Fat saved (g)
2 Tbsp. regular salad dressingNonfat salad dressing14
1 Tbsp. mayonnaiseNonfat mayonnaise12
Nonfat yogurt11
1 Tbsp. butter or margarineSalsa11

Sources: Manufacturer’s Data, USDA Handbook 8, Nutritionist IV Database.

At Your Dinner Table …

Simple changes you can make today for a healthier meal:

  • Enhance food with bold flavors from healthy ingredients like fresh herbs, spices and citrus. When your food has great flavor, there’s no reason to feel deprived.
  • Keep an eye on sodium intake. Whether you have high blood pressure or not, it’s wise to watch your sodium intake.
  • Meat is a great source of protein but it’s also a big source of saturated fat. Eat small amounts of lean meat, fish and poultry. Fill rest of your plate with healthy vegetables and whole grains.
  • Skip the fatty, starchy vegetable casseroles and serve steamed, fresh veggies instead.
  • Replace the white flour in your favorite bread or roll recipe with whole wheat flour.
  • Opt for unsaturated (e.g., olive oil) over saturated fats such as butter. But still use them in moderation because all fats are loaded with calories.
  • Skip the sweet tea and regular soda, opt for water or sugar-free drinks instead.
  • Even though we would all like a magic bullet for weight control, it really boils down to calories. One of the easiest ways to manage calorie intake is by eating healthy portions.