Recipe Ingredient Substitution Tips

In general, both fat and sugar can be reduced by 1/4 to 1/3 in most recipes without affecting the outcome of the product. In other words, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you can reduce it to 2/3 or 3/4 cup without noticing much difference.

Experiment with fat-free or reduced-fat products or combine full-fat ingredients with fat-free or reduced-fat products, to suit your taste.
The following table outlines other simple ways to modify the ingredients in a recipe to help make it more "diabetes friendly": 
Use Less Or Substitute
Bacon, 1 oz. 2 Tbsp. bacon bits, or 1 oz. lean ham, turkey or Canadian bacon
Butter, 1 cup 1 cup tub margarine,* or
¾ cup monounsaturated oil
Oil, 1 cup ½ cup monounsaturated oil plus ½ cup applesauce or 1 cup applesauce or pureed fruit
Buttermilk, 1 cup Mix 1 cup skim milk plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, let mixture stand 5 minutes and beat briskly

Chocolate - Baking,

1 oz.

3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 Tbsp. monounsaturated oil

Condensed Milk - Sweetened,

14 oz. can

Dissolve 1 cup powdered skim milk and 1/3 cup cool water in 1 qt. sauce pan. Bring to boil, stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in 2/3 cup sugar or Splenda sugar blend. Cool before using.

Cottage Cheese -

4% butterfat, 1 cup

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese -2% milk fat or less

Cream Cheese,

8 oz.

1 cup fat-free cream cheese, or low-fat Neufchatel cheese, or 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese, pureed

Cream - Heavy,

1 cup

2/3 cup skim milk plus 1/3 cup monounsaturated oil

Cream - Light,

1 cup

1 cup evaporated skim milk, or 3 Tbsp. monounsaturated oil plus skim milk to equal 1 cup

Cream - Sour,

1 cup

1 cup fat-free sour cream, or 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt plus 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Egg, 1 whole 2 egg whites, or 1 egg white plus 1 tsp. monounsaturated oil, or ¼ cup egg substitute

Hollandaise Sauce,

1 cup

Mix ¾ cup low fat mayonnaise with enough hot liquid (from cooking vegetables) to make a thick creamy sauce, add lemon juice to taste
Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing, 1 cup 1 cup fat-free or low-fat mayonnaise, or plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt, or a blend of any of these products to taste

Milk - Whole, 1 cup

1 cup skim milk, or powdered skim milk plus water to equal 1 cup
Sugar, 1 cup 2/3 cup regular sugar or 1 cup Splenda or Equal sugar blend

White Sauce, 1 cup

1 Tbsp. melted margarine* plus 2 Tbsp. flour, blended well over low heat, add 1 cup skim milk, sodium-free bouillon, vegetables or seasonings

Vegetable Oil, 1 Tbsp.

Vegetable cooking spray, spray 2 seconds to cover cooking surface

* Use regular tub-style margarine, not reduced-fat varieties. Choose products with greater amounts of monounsaturated fats and zero trans fats.


Monounsaturated oils = olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil