Substituting Ingredients for a Healthier Meal

Healthy IngredientsHealthy cooking can seem overwhelming for people who manage busy schedules and tight budgets. Fortunately, you can significantly improve the nutritional content of everyday meals by making a few simple ingredient substitutions.
Easy Swaps
Numerous recipes call for common ingredients that can negatively impact our health. Before adding these to your next breakfast, lunch or dinner, try some healthy substitutes that can lower sugar, fat and calorie content, while upping nutritional value.

  • White bread: Whole-grain bread
  • Dry bread crumbs: Crushed bran cereal or rolled oats
  • Butter, shortening, margarine or oil in baked goods: Applesauce or prune puree
  • Cream: Evaporated skim milk or fat-free half-and-half
  • Plain flour: Whole-wheat flour
  • Canned fruit in heavy syrup: Fresh fruit
  • Ground beef: Ground turkey or chicken breast
  • Iceberg lettuce: Chicory, collard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, mustard greens, kale, spinach or watercress
  • Oil-based marinades: Fruit juice, balsamic vinegar or wine
  • Salad dressing: Flavored vinegars
  • White pasta: Whole-wheat pasta
  • White rice: Pearl barley or brown rice
  • Soy sauce: Low-sodium soy sauce, hot mustard sauce or sweet-and-sour sauce

Sugar Substitutes
There are numerous sugar substitutes on the market; however, few perform well during baking. In most cases, you can reduce the amount of sugar you add by half and replace the lost sweetness with cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla. You can also replace syrup with applesauce, pureed fruit or low-calorie, sugar-free syrup.
A Few Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Even a few substitutes can make a big difference in your general health and happiness. Over time, you can drastically reduce the amount of calories you consume, while doing away with excess sugar and saturated fat. By making a long-term commitment to changing the way you cook, you can promote better long-term health for your family. You can also improve your physique, and lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes and a number of other chronic ailments.

Health News + Events

What to Expect With COVID-19 & Back-to-School Protocols

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in early 2020, it turned life upside down for more than 50 million school-age children across the country. In fact, according to Ed  Read More

TikTok Health Hacks: Safe or Sham?

No matter your preferred social media channel, you’ve likely seen viral health hacks for everything from congestion to snoring to weight loss. We turned to our team of certified  Read More

How to Treat a Dog Bite

Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend, but even the friendliest of creatures can sometimes get spooked or display aggressive behavior. Bites can even happen when giving an excit  Read More

What Our Patients Are Saying

Rating 4.6
Rating 4.2
Rating 4.6
Rating 5.0

"The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital."

Patient
Derby, CT

"Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The Doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!"

Patient
Hamden, CT

"I had to take my son in for an ear infection following a sudden change in temperament at daycare. He was inconsolable the entire car ride but when we got there and by the time we left this care facility he was back to his normal happy go lucky little two year old boy. I highly recommend PhysicianOne Urgent Care."

Patient
Westwood, MA

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today."

Patient
Somers, NY