Now you're cooking! 9 heart healthy food substitutions

One of the myths about dieting is that a person has to give up their favorite meals in order to eat well. However, by using the right substitute ingredients, you can make many of your favorite recipes healthier and just as delicious.

With the help of the American Heart Association and the people at, 9 On Your Side has put together a list of 9 heart-conscious food alternatives.

These healthy substitutions can help you cut down on saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol, while noticing little, if any, difference in taste.

When recipe calls for ... Use this instead  …
Whole milk (1 cup) 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk, plus one tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil
Heavy cream (1 cup) 1 cup evaporated skim milk or 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plain low-fat unsalted cottage cheese
Sour cream Low-fat unsalted cottage cheese plus low-fat or fat-free yogurt; or just use fat-free sour cream
Cream cheese 4 tablespoons soft margarine (low in saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat) blended with 1 cup dry, unsalted low-fat cottage cheese; add a small amount of fat-free milk if needed
Butter (1 tablespoon) 1 tablespoon soft margarine (low in saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat) or 3/4 tablespoon liquid vegetable oil
Egg (1) 2 egg whites; or choose a commercially made, cholesterol-free egg substitute (1/4 cup)
Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce) 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or soft margarine; since carob is sweeter than cocoa, reduce the sugar in the recipe by 25 percent
Oils Try cooking with more heart-healthy liquids, rather than oil. These include lemon juice, sherry, tomato sauce, vinegar, skim or 1 percent milk, wine, low-fat broth, fruit juice or a combination of these. Replace oil with applesauce to make a lower-fat, heart-healthy recipe. (One cup of unsweetened applesauce may replace 1 cup of oil).
Meats Use vegetables as the main course. Hearty (and more "meat-like") vegetables include Portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, eggplant, green, red or yellow peppers.

For more information on heart health, visit or click this link.

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