Recipe Modification Ideas for Low Cholesterol, Low Saturated Fat Diet

By using the following substitutions, you can significantly lower the cholesterol and fat content of standard recipes.

For this product:

Try this alternative:


Low-fat cheeses (less than 3 grams of fat per ounce) part skim cheeses, fat-free cheeses

Creamed cottage cheese

Low-fat cottage cheese, nonfat cottage cheese

Mozzarella & ricotta cheese

Part-skim mozzarella and ricotta

Heavy cream

Evaporated skim milk

Whipped cream

Low-fat whipped topping

Sour cream

Fat-free sour cream, nonfat yogurt

Ice cream

Sherbet, Italian ices, fat-free ice cream, nonfat frozen yogurt

Whole milk

Low-fat milk (1 percent) or skim milk


Tub or squeeze margarines *

1 cup solid shortening

2/3 cup vegetable oil *

Buttering breads and vegetables

Olive or sesame oil used lightly, fat-free margarines or dressings

Salad dressings

Fat-free salad dressings

1 egg

2 egg whites, 1/4 cup egg substitute

Lunch meats

Those with less than 3 grams of fat per ounce. or turkey and chicken breast

Tuna packed in oil

Water-packed tuna

Self-basting turkey

Regular turkey, baste with fat-free bouillon

Red meat protein sources

Lean cuts such as sirloin, tenderloin and round or dried beans, split peas or lentils

Prime or choice grades of meat

Good or standard grades of meat

Organ meats

Avoid organ meats, choose lean cuts and moderate portions of meats, fish and poultry

Regular bacon

Canadian bacon or lean ham

Commercial gravies

Homemade gravies, skimmed off fat

Preparing gravies

Chill until fat sets and remove, dip a paper towel into warm gravy or use gravy skimmer

Cooking poultry

Remove skin

Cooking meats

Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking, cook on a rack, drain fat

Sautéing foods in fat

Sauté in nonstick skillet without oil or use skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

Cooking vegetables in butter

Steam vegetable, flavor with herbs

1 ounce bakers chocolate

3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon safflower oil

Chocolate cake

Angel food cake


Fat-free fudgesicles, nonfat hot cocoa mix, fat-free chocolate pudding


Graham crackers, vanilla wafers

Biscuits, muffins, croissants

Hard rolls, pita, Italian or French bread, sandwich bread

Potato chips, corn chips

Pretzels, air-popped popcorn, baked chips

High fat crackers

Bread sticks, melba toast, soda, oyster or whole-grain crackers

* This lowers SATURATED fat, but not TOTAL fat


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.