girl-dad-bakingCooking and baking from scratch will allow you to know all the ingredients and actually know what you are eating.

When using boxed food items such as pre-made icing or cake brownies you are more likely to consume the worse trans-fat.

So, ideally we want to limit and avoid such said sweets, however it is unrealistic to say you will never indulge. So if you are going to make something, why not make it from scratch? This will allow you to experiment with the recipes, by cutting sugar and replacing fats with alternative ingredients.

Remember, diabetes greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes are two-to-four times more likely to have heart disease or stroke compared to those that do not have diabetes. Help decrease your chances, by improving your cholesterol levels, specifically your LDL and HDL cholesterol. Ways to improve levels are through diet, exercise and medication.

Decreasing animal fats such as bacon, butter, lard, regular sour cream, cream cheese, and heavy cream can help improve cholesterol levels focusing more on plant fats such as olive oils, nuts, and flaxseed can help improve your cholesterol.

Cutting Calories

Help decrease calories and fats in the recipes you make by replacing butter, oils, and margarine with every day food items that may be in your fridge or pantry.

Greek yogurt is more than just a great snack, it can be a great fat replacement for such fats as oil, butter, sour cream, and mayonnaise. (1) Try some of these great tips the next time you are trying to reduce fat and calories.

1 cup sour cream = 1 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1 cup oil = 3/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1 cup cream cheese = 1 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1 cup buttermilk = 2/3 cup 0% Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter = 1/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup butter
1 cup mayonnaise = 1 cup 0% Greek yogurt

When cooking with oils on the stove, instead of pouring half the bottle in your pan, try using a spray bottle with olive oil in it, and simply mist the olive oil in your pan, saving hundreds of calories. Also using non-stick pans will help decrease how much oil you will need. Remember baking, broiling, grilling would be lower fat options opposed to pan or deep frying your foods.

When cooking eggs, try using egg whites or egg beaters to decrease the fat and calories. other alternatives to eggs include chia seeds! Chia seeds? These little seeds pack a powerful punch, full of fiber and omega 3's. Try combining 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 1 cup of water and let sit for at least 15 minutes, this will produce a perfect 1 to 1 egg substitute. This is also a great way to make vegan recipes. (2)

Replace butter or oil with applesauce or prunes in your recipes. For applesauce, replace the amount of fat for the same amount of applesauce, so if your recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, you could use 1 cup of applesauce instead. Try using pureed prunes such as a baby food as well for the same amount of fat your recipe calls for. Adding applesauce or prunes will help to cut the fat drastically and also give your recipe a little more fiber.

Love your heavy creams and ice creams. Try using evaporated skim milk instead of cream in your next recipe to decrease saturated fats. We all love ice cream, but it is loaded with saturated bad fat. The next time you buy bananas, peel them and stick them in the freezer, once frozen blend them into a wonderful frozen like ice cream substitute. Remember just like ice cream there are carbohydrates, however unlike ice cream there is no fat, and your banana treat will give you nutrients such as potassium and fiber to help you feel fuller longer!

There are so many possibilities when cooking and baking, experiment and try new ingredients to help you discover ways to cut calories and fat. Do you make specific changes when you bake or cook? Do you make substitutions for fats by using fruit purees or yogurt? Tell us your experiences. Please feel free to share your ideas!

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