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 margarine Apple sauce 11g/1 Tbsp.
Low-sugar jam 11g/1 Tbsp.
Reduced-calorie margarine 5 g/1 Tbsp.
Cooking oil spray 14 g/1 Tbsp.
Oil for cooking Low-fat broth 28g/2 Tbsp.

Dairy Products

Instead of using: Try this: Fat saved (g)
½ cup regular ricotta cheese Nonfat ricotta cheese 16
2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream Evaporated skim milk 10
2 Tbsp. regular cream cheese Nonfat cream cheese 10
1 oz. regular full fat cheese Nonfat cheese 9
1 oz. regular full fat cheese Reduced-fat cheese 4
1 cup whole milk Skim milk 8
1 cup whole yogurt Nonfat yogurt 7
2 Tbsp. regular sour cream Nonfat sour cream 5
½ cup whole milk cottage cheese Nonfat cottage cheese 4

Meat and Poultry

Instead of using: Try this: Fat saved (g)
3 ounces ground beef Ground skinless turkey breast 16
Extra-lean ground beef 7
3 ounces beef, steak Lowfat chicken, turkey or fish 7
2 slices regular bologna Fat-free turkey bologna 16
1 ounce regular ham Fat-free ham 6

Sauces and Condiments

Instead of using: Try this: Fat saved (g)
2 Tbsp. regular salad dressing Nonfat salad dressing 14
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise Nonfat mayonnaise 12
Nonfat yogurt 11
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine Salsa 11

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.