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Healthy Substitutes for Oil

Fitday Editor

One of the first things you learn when you start trying to cook healthier is that there are many healthy substitutes for oil. The question then becomes which substitutes work for what type of cooking and how much of the substitute is required to give you the same or nearly the same taste as oil.

Oil substitutes can help you lower the calories in your cooking if you or someone you love is trying to lose weight. If you need to lower your cholesterol and thus your risk for developing heart disease, using oil substitutes is an easy way to do so.

Oil Substitutes for Baking

When using unsweetened applesauce or fruit puree use 3/4 to 1 cup for every 1 cup of oil. When you are substituting a fruit puree for oil you may want to also add an extra 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce to be sure that the recipe is moist enough. Some people recommend also adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of canola oil to enhance the moist texture of the food. The reason that applesauce is used most often is that unlike some other fruit purees, applesauce does not have a strong overpowering flavor and therefore will not change the taste of your recipe. Here are a few fruit puree substitutes for oil:

  • Applesauce Unsweetened
  • Banana Puree
  • Mango Puree
  • Pumpkin Puree

Oil Substitutes for Cooking

When substituting for liquid oil you will need to add skim milk to your unsweetened applesauce or mix butter buds to form a liquid. When you stir fry you can often successfully use nonstick cooking spray. Another alternative is to use a pan that has a nonstick coating.

Other Changes to Make

Due to the acidity of applesauce, some cooks suggest adding 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Also, if you are using applesauce in a recipe that requires all-purpose flour you will often get better results if you use whole wheat pastry flour. Your flavoring ingredients may also need to be increased because lowering the fat content can make the food taste bland. This is because flavor tends to use fat to disperse itself thoroughly into the food. Another tip is that when fat is reduced in a baking recipe you should be careful to bake just until done. Otherwise, bakery products with oil substitutes tend to dry out.

Benefits of Oil Substitutes

If you have high cholesterol and/or are trying to cut the fat in your diet, oil substitutes can be your best friend. High cholesterol is a contributing factor in having a higher risk of heart disease. Oil substitutes also cut the amount of fat in your recipes. Lowering your fat consumption is an easy way to cut calories and lose weight.

By using oil substitutes in your favorite recipes you can cut your fat intake and lower your cholesterol without damaging the flavor of your food. Lower cholesterol can also lower your risk of heart disease. Since using oil substitutes properly can improve your health without hurting the flavor of your food you have nothing but the stuff that is bad for you to lose.

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