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Discover Healthy Substitutes for Recipes and Meals

Finding ways to substitute unhealthy ingredients with wholesome and nutritious ones can help you manage your health. These changes can also reduce your risk for some chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

By making just a few adjustments in your recipes, you can enjoy a healthy dish that still tastes good, too. Instead of cooking with butter or shortening, try using olive, canola or another vegetable oil. Also, try replacing butter with unsweetened applesauce for baked desserts.

For a quick and healthy breakfast, fill a bowl with less cereal and add sliced strawberries, bananas or blueberries. Enjoy with either 1% or skim milk instead of whole milk. Start the day with added nutrients that can help you stay full until lunchtime.

At dinner, use lean ground beef or ground turkey to make juicy burgers or delicious tacos. Try baked, grilled or broiled instead of fried chicken or fish. Add a healthy side of steamed broccoli or a baked potato topped with low-fat plain yogurt for a more nutritious meal.  

Substitutes can also be made with bread and pasta. Choose whole-wheat bread for sandwiches in place of white bread and opt for whole wheat pasta noodles. You can even add unsweetened, whole-grain cereal on top of salads and soups for a healthy crunch.

If you take a break with an afternoon snack, choose healthy options like fresh fruit, carrot slices and celery sticks with hummus, low-salt pretzels or low-fat yogurt. You can also make your own trail mix of unsweetened raisins or dried fruit and low-salt or unsalted mixed nuts. Bringing your own snacks can help you avoid buying chips or candy from a vending machine, allowing you to take charge of your nutrition and your health.

Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, so you can save time at the grocery store. You can also take advantage of weekly discounts to keep your healthy choices more budget-friendly, too.