10 Ingredient Swaps to Make Your Recipes Healthier

Cut sugar, saturated fats, and extra calories while making your favorite food without sacrificing taste and flavor! Seems impossible? It’s perfectly possible with these simple ingredient swaps that I’m going to tell you about…

I always try to find out ways to make my favorite food healthier without compromising on taste and texture. Trust me, whipping up healthy recipes is actually be easier than you think. You are the one in charge of what exactly (and how much) you are putting into your dishes, so all you have to do now is just be smarter in your choices!

It’s time to trash refined sugar and cheap oils without a second thought. Introduce these healthy swaps to boost the nutrition of your food and you may find yourself even more satisfied!

1. Avocados for Butter:

Not only are avocados healthy, they’re also incredibly delicious and go with all sorts of foods.

  • Because of their rich and buttery texture, they blend well with various other ingredients
  • Avocados also make a perfect substitute for butter in baking at a one-to-one ratio.
  • Naturally cholesterol-free, avocado spreads, toppings, and dips are a creamy and nutritious alternative to saturated fat-laden recipes.

2. Greek Yogurt for Mayonnaise, Sour Cream, Buttermilk or Heavy Cream:

When it comes to making your food healthier, the goal is to lower the carb and fat content without compromising on taste. Packed with protein, crammed with calcium, popping with probiotics, greek yogurt has all the qualities of the best weight-loss foods.

  • Greek yogurt makes a perfect replacement for mayonnaise in salad dressings, dips, and condiments.
  • You can swap in reduced-fat greek yogurt for sour cream, buttermilk, or oil in baking.
  • Greek yogurt makes a perfect base for frozen desserts in place of heavy cream.

3. Unsweetened Applesauce for Sugar or Butter:

Sugar tends to be the main component of any kind of baked goodies. But there is a much better way of sweetening up your cakes, muffins, and cookies. Swap in one cup of applesauce for one cup of sugar to cut calories.

Unsweetened apple sauce not only boosts nutrition but also makes your baked goodies much lighter when it comes to counting calories.

4. Honey for Refined Sugar:

It’s true that it is tough to avoid all forms of sugar… and no one ever said honey has lesser calories than refined sugar! But unlike sugar (which is nothing but empty calories), honey is

  • Is nutrient-dense.
  • Has medicinal properties.
  • Is less processed than sugar.

So switching to a healthier option like honey is a better way to add nutrition along with sweetness to your food, and to stabilize your blood glucose spikes.

5. Mashed Bananas for Sugar, Butter and Frozen Bananas for Ice Cream:

You really don’t need sugar or butter for baking when you can get the sweetness and consistency from naturally sweet bananas. And not to mention bananas are nutrient rich and a big player in potassium game!

  • Only thing you need to remember is, you should use overripe bananas to get the perfect amount of sweetness in your cakes, cookies, brownies, pancakes or muffins.
  • No need to reach for cream, eggs and sugar to make your favorite ice cream. Yes, you heard right. Just freeze some bananas and then puree them to make the perfect base for your favorite ice cream sundaes.

6. 100% Whole wheat flour for All purpose Flour:

Whole wheat flour beats all purpose white flour any time. White flour not only lack nutrients but also adds empty calories and refined carbohydrates to your food. Using whole wheat flour can provide fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. Swap whole wheat flour with all purpose flour in a one-to-one ratio for a healthy boost.

7. Quinoa for White rice:

Quinoa is considered to be a superfood, and it’s the only grain that’s a complete protein (contains 9 essential amino acids) making it a great option for vegans/vegetarians. Quinoa is very nutritious and a great source of fiber. Its low Glycemic Index (GI) makes it a perfect substitute for white rice (which has higher GI).

8. Low-fat milk for Whole milk or Heavy Cream:

Whole milk or heavy cream tends to rack up fats and calories in your recipes. So for the recipes that call for full-fat milk or heavy cream, swapping them out with a lesser fat version will make sure you are not overboard with calories and saturated fat.

9. Oatmeal for Breadcrumbs or in Baking:

  • Oats are a hearty and healthy addition to your baking whether it is cake, brownies, cookies or muffins.
  • Oats make a perfect replacement for breadcrumbs (which are nothing but the crumbs of nutritionally poor white bread), thus boosting the health factor.
  • Oats are high in fiber and packed with essential nutrients, which all work together to help lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and promote weight loss.

10. Citrus Fruits for Salt:

Food doesn’t always need salt to taste good. Citrus fruits like lemons and limes not only add flavor, but also make a perfect replacement for salt (sodium). Make a habit of swapping your salt shaker with slices of these citrus fruits when you are eating chicken, fish, rice or your favorite vegetables.


We are traditionally brought up to think that quality cooking calls for no compromise. But it remains to see how our overall health is compromised by this heavy insistence on calorie loaded ingredients. And if a few tweaks can add a positive spin to the health quotient of your dishes, then it is certainly time to rewrite that cookbook!


Article Credits – Priyadarshini Das