There is no need to go in search of new recipes if you already have your favourites. To modify recipes that you already cook, you can do three things …

  • Substitute high fat, high energy ingredients with low fat, low energy ingredients;
  • Reduce the quantities of high fat ingredients in your recipes or
  • Eliminate any high fat ingredients entirely.

1.   Substitute

Substitute high fat, high energy ingredients with low fat, low energy ingredients. We have listed some common ingredients in the table below:


Full cream milk Low fat or skim milk
Coconut milk
or coconut cream
Low fat coconut milk or coconut cream, Carnation Skim Evaporated Milk with Coconut Essence (available in a tin from the supermarket)
Cream Lite cream, evaporated skim milk, low fat cream cheese, blended ricotta cheese and skim milk (50:50 blend)
Mayonnaise Low fat mayonnaise, low fat yoghurt
Sour cream Reduced fat sour cream, low fat yoghurt, low fat cottage cheese with lemon juice, blended cottage cheese, blended ricotta cheese and low fat yoghurt (50:50 blend)
Cream cheese Low fat cream cheese, blended cottage cheese
Margarine or butter Low fat cream cheese
Oil Water, stock, juice, sauces, cooking oil spray
Cheese Low fat cheese (< 10% fat)
Chocolate Cocoa powder
The following low fat and low energy ingredients have long shelf lives, so you can keep them in your pantry or fridge to substitute at short notice:
Rice, pasta and canned legumes Cooking oil spray Crushed garlic or ginger
Cornflour (to thicken sauces and gravies) Canned tomatoes or tomato- based sauces (e.g. pasta sauce) Marinades and sauces
(e.g. soy, oyster and sweet chilli)
Evaporated skim milk Low fat yoghurt Long life skim milk
Low fat cream cheese Low fat cottage cheese Low fat hard cheese
Mustard and relishes Herbs and spices Stock cubes or liquid
Honey Wine Vinegar
Low fat mayonnaise Low fat salad dressings

2. Reduce

If a high fat or high energy ingredient cannot be substituted, try using a little less of it. For example, in baked products you should be able to reduce the amount of fat or sugar by a quarter to a third without changing the final product too drastically. Remember that if you remove moisture, you need to replace it. For example, to make up for less oil, you may be able to add a little more water or low fat milk.

3. Eliminate

If a high fat or high energy ingredient is not strictly necessary (i.e. it is used for presentation or flavour), you can remove it. For example, you can omit nuts, avocado or olives from salads and bacon from pasta sauce.

via Wesley LifeShape Clinic