Skip Nav
Popsugar Interviews
Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Jenny Craig (Including If It Actually Works)
These Naked Yoga Photos Are Gorgeous and Totally #SFW
Celebrity Trainers
Sick of the Treadmill? This Machine Burns Way More Calories — and Won't Hurt Your Knees

Healthy Eating Tip: Saturated Fat Substitutions

Let's remember the basics: Saturated fat is the destructive fat. It's not essential for our bodies like omega-3s, and it is actually rather harmful as it clogs arteries, raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, and can lead to heart attacks. As if that wasn't bad enough, a recent study shows that a diet high in saturated fat can also lead to cancer of the small intestine. With that said, it's best to ditch the saturated fat in your diet, but that doesn't mean you have to give up the foods you love.

To learn about healthier alternatives to foods high in saturated fat,


Instead of Try this
Whole cream (when baking) Plain yogurt
Half-and-half (in your coffee) Silk soy creamer
Whole milk yogurt Nonfat Oikos Greek yogurt
Butter (when baking) Earth Balance sticks
Cream cheese (on your bagel) Lowfat cottage cheese
Dulce de leche ice cream Stonyfield Farm Creme Caramel frozen yogurt
Butter (when cooking) Canola oil
Egg Two egg whites
Mayonnaise Nayonaise (made from soy)
Cheddar cheese Mozzarella
Butter (on popcorn) Nutritional yeast
Pork sausage Chicken sausage
Hamburger Veggie burger
Bacon Lightlife Smart Bacon

If you have a substitution, share it in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I agree, Smacks...what is wrong with butter, cream, cheese, and bacon? You shouldn't eat it every day at every meal, but a long time ago, there were no substitutes. Some of the new "better for you" foods are scary to me.
alenka alenka 8 years
Thank you!! I avoid saturated fat as much as I can, but often when a recipe calls for something like butter, I don't really know how to substitute. Will definitely use this!
Witchy-Ways Witchy-Ways 8 years
Simple as it is, my dad taught me how to cook without cream. he NEVER used it and personally, I prefer any kind of sauce made with wine over one made with cream. But when it comes to butter (which I hardly ever have with anything, but it happens from time to time) I would never substitute it with something that's not "real". I know that our local butter comes from cow milk only so I guess this is actually the healthiest you can get - it's natural. But it doesn't mean you have to eat it with everything. I think that eating real (in this case organic) butter in moderation is much healthier than eating the fake stuff more often.
Red-Sharpie Red-Sharpie 8 years
No thanks, I agree with Smacks. I'll stick to my natural foods. There hasn't been any research that shows a *causal* link between saturated fats and heart disease and there are plenty that show no such link. I have looked, extensively, and encourage everyone else to do their own research too (first, learn to read and interpret studies - the headlines attached to studies are usually misleading). The study linked here shows a correlation based on food questionnaires. This doesn't prove causality. It more likely shows that people that eat the most saturated fats eat the most bad foods in general (fast foods, etc, are high in saturated fats) compounded with the perception that saturated fats are bad so those that live overall healthier lifestyles are less likely to eat saturated fats. The only unhealthy fats are trans and overly processed rancid vegetable oils.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'm on the fence on this one. I don't advocate eating a lot of saturated fat, but I don't know how healthy it is to be eating a lot of fake/soy-based foods to replace it. I think you're better off just eating natural sources of mono/polyunsaturated fats. Use oil instead of shortening/butter when you cook, choose lean cuts of meat/poultry, opt for plain nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream when you cook, and eat Canadian bacon instead of regular bacon. Most of your substitutions are pretty good, Fit, but I'd avoid the soy/fake stuff personally.
soapbox soapbox 8 years
If I remember correctly, I don't think we EVER had real butter, bacon, cream cheese and heavy cream in the house. In fact, to this day, I never cook with heavy cream or real cream cheese. Real butter maybe, that's only for pies. (You can't make a pie crust with fake butter. It just doesn't taste as good!)
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Sorry to harp: But also have you ever noticed how MANY ingredients are in the new fake foods (plus how much sugars and vegetable oils, too rich in omega 6) are in faux meats and such? If you are vegetarian, more power too you (I've been one myself for 11 years and am planning on going back to natural foods, not factory farmed or created), but don't try to pretend that all that excess oil and sugar and soy by-products (NOT the same as natural and fermented tofu) can be good for your body in the long run. Egg yolks also contain a host of important and nutrious vitamins and minerals and the fat in neccessary for proper absorption of the protein in the whites. Why must we take complete foods (whole milk and whole eggs) and turn them into incomplete foods? Getting off my soapbox now. Sorry, I'm just very passionate about food ;)
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Ok, I'm confused. Healthy eating is about eating natural, wholesome, healthy foods, right? What exactly is healthy about these faux products? Butter's been around much longer than these new-fangled creations (and if you haven't noticed, since the arrival of new "foods", that's when most of our illness epidemics began to surface in full force). I've read in a lot of nutritional books and publications that saturated fats are important in the diet so that your body can properly assimilate and use certain kinds of nutrients (the saturated fats in whole milk are vital for the absorption and proper use of calcium). Maybe the message shouldn't be avoid like they're "Black Plague" but rather moderation in all (real, natural) things. Best butters are from grassfed cows, high in CLA and omega 3's and vitamins A and D. I just don't get why people are afraid of foods we've been eating for centuries.
rivrchild rivrchild 8 years
I've been replacing ground beef with the Morningstar veggie crumbles (they might be called "Meal starters") for years now. My mom started using it in chili and no one ever knew the difference. It's great in spaghetti, tacos and beef stroganoff too. I don't eat vegetarian any more, but I think the Morningstar product is just so much easier and healthier to deal with than real ground beef. Plus, I can't stand the site of raw ground beef, it makes me queasy! :(
wren1 wren1 8 years
Thanks for these tips!
millarci millarci 8 years
The only one I could never replace is a regular hamburger. All the others sound good!
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds