These swaps will do your heart good, and they also cut calories.
Cooking meals at home rather than eating out (especially fast food) is usually better for your heart and your weight. But if you’re accustomed to recipes relying on high-fat, high-calorie ingredients (think lard, cream or corn oil, for example), consider making some ingredient substitutions for the sake of your heart health.
Healthier recipe substitutions for common ingredients
- Instead of one large egg, use two large egg whites. If you use store-bought egg whites, the carton lists how much to pour to get the equivalent.
- Instead of 1 cup sour cream, use 1 cup of plain low-fat yogurt.
- For a baking substitute, instead of 1 cup of oil, use 1 cup of applesauce.
- An easy whole milk substitute is to cook with skim (fat-free) milk.
- Use healthier oils like olive oil, canola oil or sunflower oil. Avoid using lard, Crisco, butter, coconut oil and vegetable oil.
- As a regular cream cheese substitute, use low-fat or non-fat cream cheese instead.
- If a recipe calls for all-purpose or white flour, substitute whole-wheat flour for half the amount of white flour.
- Use healthy seasonings such as herbs, spices or vinegar instead of salt to add flavor.
- Use lower-sodium chicken broth instead of regular chicken broth.
- Choose loin or round cuts of red meat and pork, and look for choice or select grades of beef instead of prime. These cuts of meat typically have the least amount of fat.
Of course, building a collection of heart-healthy recipes, like these, is a good strategy, too.