CBSN

Healthy Food Substitutes

Trying to cut fat and calories by eating grilled chicken breast and steamed vegetables could become difficult to do after a while. But, using items that will help you make smart substitutions in recipes you love might be the trick to keep your diet on track.
Sue Perry, Deputy Editor for ShopSmart Magazine has six tips on how to cut fat and calories from your diet by substituting ingredients.
First, instead of using heavy cream try evaporated milk. You'll save on calories and fat. Cream is 400 calories per half cup, evaporated milk is only 160 calories per half cup. Evaporated milk works the same as heavy cream in creamy soups. Also, try it in rice pudding.
Next, instead of baking with chocolate try cocoa powder. It has a deep dark chocolate flavor but with less sugar, fat and calories. For even more flavor buy the Dutch chocolate cocoa. Use it in soufflés, flourless chocolate cakes and meringues.
If you love the flavor of bacon but not the fat, go with smoked salt, peppercorns or paprika instead. Smoked salts can infuse a dish with bacony satisfaction and do away with the fat and calories. Try simmering pea or potato soup with a little smoky seasoning and you won't miss the bacon. Or stir the salts into eggs before scrambling or making an omelet.
Meat lovers try canned beans instead. Like meat beans are nutrient dense and very satisfying without all the fat. They pack lots of fiber and might help lower cholesterol. Meats in stews can be replaced with beans and cannelloni beans make a fast soup. Puree them with rosemary and then thin the soup with water.
Another huge calorie saving comes when using Dijon mustard instead of butter. The creamy sauce like consistency of Dijon mustard should help you skip the butter and other fats. Try spreading smooth mustard on chicken breast or legs to make breadcrumbs before baking. It will get extra flavor as well as a crust as crunchy as if you had fried it. Also try tossing steamed broccoli or green beans with mustard instead of butter.
Last, cut out the white rice and pasta. Opt for whole grains instead. Besides cutting calories, nutrient dense whole grains such as quinoa, faro and barley make meals more nutritious and more flavorful. And because they take longer to chew and digest you tend to feel full longer. Try substituting fiber rich faro for rice in soups, salads and risotto.
For more information on healthy food substitutes and other consumer topics, click © 2010 CBS. All rights reserved.