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On your Mark, Get Set, Substitute!
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by Alicia Kroat, RD, LDN Jennifer Fleming, MS, RD and Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD

Women with heart disease know the importance of modifying recipes with food substitutions to reduce the amount of calories, fat, sodium, and sugar, but don't always know how to do this or what kinds of substitutes to use. Making your favorite recipes healthy for the whole family is as quick and easy as three short steps. Follow the steps below to turn your family’s favorite recipes into heart healthy favorites.
 

1. Choose your recipe.

2. Food Substitutions: Substitute foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium for foods lower in these nutrients by using the chart below as a guide.

Recipe calls for…

Replace with…

1 cup whole milk

1 cup fat free (or low-fat milk) + 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup evaporated skim milk OR

½ cup low-fat yogurt + ½ cup plain unsalted cottage cheese

Sour cream

Low-fat unsalted cottage cheese + low-fat (or fat-free) yogurt OR

Fat free sour cream

Cream cheese

4 Tbsp soft margarine (low in Saturated and Trans fat) blended with 1 cup dry, unsalted low-fat cottage cheese; add small amount of fat-free milk if needed

Butter (1 Tbsp)

1 Tbsp soft margarine (low in saturated and Trans fat) OR

¾ Tbsp liquid vegetable oil

Egg (1)

2 egg whites OR

Commercially made cholesterol-free egg substitutes (1/4 cup)

Unsweetened baking chocolate (1oz.)

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (or soft margarine in place of oil)

1 cup sugar

¾ cup honey + 1 Tbsp honey

Reduce other liquids by 2 Tbsp except with sour cream, buttermilk, or baking soda

1 cup sugar

¾ cup maple syrup

Reduce other liquids by 3 Tbsp

1 cup sugar

1.5 cup molasses

Reduce other liquids by 5 Tbsp

Add ½ tsp baking soda per cup molasses used to account for acidity

¼ cup sugar

6 packets (1 gram) saccharin

¼ cup sugar

6 packets (1 gram) Equal

¼ cup sugar

1 gram Sunette

1 cup sugar

1 cup granular sucralose

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup Truvia + 1.5 Tbsp Truvia

Additionally, replace high sodium ingredients with lower sodium options by choosing low sodium product varieties. For example, use low-sodium and low-fat chicken broth in chicken noodle soup or replace salt in recipes with Mrs. Dash. Mrs. Dash is a salt-free seasoning alternative that comes in a variety of flavors and spice options. For more information on Mrs. Dash visit: http://www.mrsdash.com/

3. Make your recipe and enjoy: Follow the directions and substitute desired products where needed.

Now take the three steps from above and walk through the sample recipe below to see just how easy it is to make simple food substitutions in your everyday cooking.

1. Choose your recipe:

Sweet Potato Casserole – Original Recipe

Servings: 12 – 1/2 cup servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

4 cups sweet potato, cubed

½ cup white sugar

2 eggs, beaten

½ tsp salt

4 Tbsp butter, softened

½ cup milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp butter, softened

½ cup chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Put cubed sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan. Add just enough water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish. In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

2. Food Substitutions:

Note: You can substitute as few or as many ingredients as you want.

Ingredient

Original Recipe

Reduced-Fat Recipe

Low-Fat Recipe

Sweet potato, cubed

4 cups, cubed

No Substitution

No Substitution

White sugar

½ cup

½ cup sucralose

½ cup sucralose

Eggs

2

½ cup egg substitute

4 egg whites

Salt

½ tsp

½ tsp Mrs. DASH

½ tsp Mrs. DASH

Butter

4 Tbsp

4 Tbsp margarine

1 Tbsp margarine*

Milk

½ cup whole milk

½ cup 2% milk

½ cup skim milk

Vanilla extract

½ tsp

No Substitution

No Substitution

Brown sugar

½ cup

No Substitution

No Substitution

All-purpose flour

1/3 cup

No Substitution

No Substitution

Butter

3 Tbsp

3 Tbsp margarine

1 Tbsp margarine*

Chopped pecans

½ cup

No Substitution

No Substitution

To compare the nutrient content among the recipes provided above, please see the nutrient analysis below.

*Choose margarines with plant stanols and sterols such as Benecol ® or Smart Balance ® to help reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed. To cut unwanted calories and fat even further, try eliminating butter/margarine completely from the sweet potato mixture.

Nutrient Analysis

Original Recipe

Reduced-Fat Recipe

Low-Fat Recipe

Total Calories/Serving

230

190

150

Fat (grams)

11g

10g

5

Calories from Fat

100

90

45

Saturated Fat (grams)

5g

1.5g

0.5g

Cholesterol (mg)

55mg

0mg

0mg

Sodium (mg)

230mg

170mg

115mg

Protein (grams)

3g

3g

3g

Carbohydrate (grams)

30g

23g

23g

Fiber (grams)

2g

2g

2g

Vitamin A (%)

130%

130%

130%

Vitamin C (%)

2%

2%

2%

Calcium (%)

6%

6%

6%

Iron (%)

4%

4%

4%

By replacing ingredients high in fat, sugar, and sodium, we are able to drastically reduce the amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates provided in this delectable side dish.

3. Make your recipe and enjoy: Follow the directions from the original recipe, substituting ingredients where necessary.

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