Craving the creamy, dreamy taste of mashed potatoes but can’t indulge because you are on a diet? Or are you more of a sweet tooth type, thinking of the decadent sweetness of a brownie but can’t indulge?
Well, with a few quick and easy substitutions, you can still relish your favorite foods without totally falling off the diet wagon.
When it comes to making things taste good, fat does a really good job. Let’s take a look at a some substitutes you can use when trying to reduce the impact of fat in your weight loss journey.
Plain Greek yogurt: many people don’t yet realize the versatility of this particular dairy product. Thick, creamy and high in protein, nonfat or low fat plain Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for sour cream on your baked potato or in your mashed potatoes. In casseroles, replacing cream of chicken soup with Greek yogurt really knocks down the calorie count without sacrificing the creamy texture or taste.
Applesauce: this humble food is a terrific substitute for fat when making baked goods like brownies. Most brownie and other bake mixes call for at least a 1/3 cup of oil in the recipe. That’s over 330 calories just in the oil itself – not to mention the whopping 34 grams of fat. When replacing oil with applesauce, measure 1/4 cup of applesauces for every 1/3 cup of oil. The best part of this substitution is that your baked goods – either cakes or brownies – won’t have any flavor of the applesauce whatsoever.
Low fat and non-fat cheese: who doesn’t love a little cheese? But that cheesy goodness comes with a price – high fat and calories. Thankfully, the dairy industry has risen to the call of the dieters and has come up with tasty, lower fat versions of its usual fat-filled fare. Substitutions are easy: use the low fat cheese exactly the same as you would normal cheese in your casseroles, eggs, and other foods. One word of caution: nonfat cheese doesn’t melt nearly as well as low fat cheese and is best used for sprinkling in salads and on top of soups and stews.
There are several substitutes on the market when it comes to replacing sugar with something a little more low calorie. The artificial sweetener saccharin is good for drinks and sprinkling on top of fruits, yogurts and hot cereals but it does not do well in baking. Each individual serving packet has less than four calories but contains the sweetness of two teaspoons of sugar. Sucralose, another artificial sweetener, has the same sweetness as saccharin but can be used in baking. Since it is not metabolized by the body, it has no calories. Aspartame has the same sweetness level as saccharin and sucralose and can be used in recipes, however, anyone who is intent on maintaining a healthy lifestyle should NEVER consume aspartme.