10 heart-healthy ingredient substitutions
Living healthy takes work. Going to the gym, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight – all of these require discipline and a desire to remain healthy.
After all the working out, what do you put into your body? Eating right is just as important as getting enough exercise. Would you be willing to alter your diet if you had some easy substitutes? Here are 10 heart-healthy ingredients you can substitute for unhealthy ones while you cook or bake.
For those recipes that call for sour cream, Health Day recommends using yogurt instead. It has fewer calories and less saturated fat. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream, use 1 cup of plain yogurt instead.
Butter may taste really good, but it has negative health benefits due to its high amounts of fat. The American Heart Association says to replace your butter in baking with margarine. Make it an equal swap; no complicated math is necessary.
Mayonnaise is the glue that holds so many salads and sandwiches together. It’s also high in omega-6 fatty acids which can contribute to arthritic pain and heart disease. When making a green salad, tuna salad or even egg salad, Healthline says to swap out the mayonnaise for hummus. You get the high protein from the hummus along with the added flavor.
4. Neufchâtel cheese
Cream cheese has 33 percent milk fat and Neufchâtel, only 23 percent. Because the two taste almost identical, Allina Health says to swap cream cheese for Neufchâtel cheese in your recipe, cutting down the amount of fat with which you cook.
5. Skim milk
Another simple way to reduce the amount of fat you cook with is using skim milk. According to the American Heart Association, skim milk can replace whole milk or heavy whipping cream. For 1 cup whole milk, use 1 cup skim milk plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. For 1 cup heavy whipping cream, use 1 cup evaporated skim milk.
6. Apple sauce
To reduce the amount of oil and one source of fat in baked goods, Allina Health says to swap the oil out for an equal amount of fruit puree or apple sauce. Consider the flavor of the fruit when doing the swap. You don’t want conflicting flavors in your baked goods.
7. Unsweetened cocoa powder
Sweeten up baking with chocolate by making it even healthier for you. The American Heart Association recommends replacing unsweetened baker’s chocolate with unsweetened cocoa powder. Use 3 tablespoons cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to make 1 square of baker’s chocolate.
8. Egg Substitute
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, but too much of anything can be a problem. When baking, try replacing eggs with egg substitutes. Health Daysays to use 1/4 cup egg substitute to equal 1 egg.
9. Ground turkey
Ground beef and ground turkey do not taste the same, but when you are trying to eliminate extra fat in the diet and keep you heart healthy, substituting the leaner ground turkey should be at the top of your list. Healthline says to use the turkey in dishes where you won’t notice the switch: chili, tacos, meatloaf, marinara sauce, or casseroles.
If you suffer from hypertension already, adding more salt to your diet is like adding gasoline to a fire. Instead, Healthline says to use some vinegar instead of salt or maybe a squirt of lemon. Consider a bit of lemon pepper or some other spice.
Cooking in a healthy manner doesn’t mean your food has to taste bad. You just have to know what to substitute. You can have your cake and eat it too if you do it right.