17 Best Healthy Recipe Substitutions.

Speaking of Canadian bacon... Yum!

One of the great advantages to cooking at home is that you can control what goes into the food you eat. It’s your food and it’s your body.

To take your healthier cooking commitment to the next level, I’d encourage you to experiment with some of these amazing food substitutions. Though recipes might call for unhealthy ingredients, feel empowered to try these delicious and flavorful replacements:

  1. Bacon: Try Canadian bacon or turkey bacon instead.
  2. White bread: Whole grain bread.
  3. White flour: Black beans, drained and rinsed, or whole wheat flour.
  4. Butter: Unsweetened applesauce, avocado puree, prune puree or just cut the amount of butter in half.
  5. Cream: Fat-free milk.
  6. Cream cheese: Low-fat cream cheese.
  7. Sugar: Unsweetened applesauce, or cut sugar in half and add some vanilla.
  8. Frosting: Use meringue instead.
  9. White rice: Brown rice.
  10. Pasta: Zucchini ribbons.
  11. Breadcrumbs: Rolled oats.
  12. Beef: Bison – it’s lower in fat and has more vitamins.
  13. Ground beef: Ground turkey.
  14. Sour cream: Greek yogurt.
  15. Mayo: Mashed avocado.
  16. Salt: Herbs.
  17. Soda: Seltzer water.

Do you have any healthy recipe substitutions that you use at home? Let me know in the comments!

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. MMMMMMMM yummy Canadian boys, I am Canadian, proud to see someone sharing us to the world? Why is it that Canadian bacon better? (That was a question and the dirty pun intended), LMAO! ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Try replacing meat with tofu a couple times a week. Also: Grains and Yellow Beans (Lentils)combined (like rice with some lentils mixed) has a higher bio availability of protein. Or try making your own pizzas rather than going out! Its much more rewarding and you can pick healthier toppings!

  3. The only reason I exercise at all is to -avoid- having to substitute yummy goodness for the less yummy stuff (I like eating, but I also like not being fat :)).

    The canadian or turkey bacon I’d be willing to try, but to substitute sugar or butter for applesauce? That’s no compromise, that’s replacing the Mona Lisa with a blank sheet of paper and saying it’s easier on the eyes! ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Spaghetti- spaghetti squash

    Ketchup- mustard

    Fat- olive oil

    Rice risotto- barley risotto

    Chicken/ beef stock- vegetable or fish stock

    Salt- potassium chloride aka light salt

  5. DonsterNYC says:

    You can substitute Greek style yogurt in any recipe calling for sour cream. At least for me I’ve had great luck making the substitute and you can’t tell the difference in taste. Use no fat if you can get it. My favorite brand: Pace. Lotsa Luck.

  6. I’m with Jeoren.

    I hate the very idea of recipe substitutions (unless they are for allergies or ethical dietary choices – gluten-free for celiacs; dairy-free for vegans, etc.). They just make foods sad and dissapointing. If I want to eat squash (which I often do), I will make a recipe that brings out the best squash-ness of the squash. But pretending like squash is pasta does a disservice to both squash and pasta. Same goes for all those other ingredients. Apples are great, but they don’t do the same thing as butter. I love a nice bowl of Greek yogurt with walnuts and honey, but I’m not going to put it in my beef stroganof.

    I was raised on shitty diet “foods” and recipies with these sort of substitutions and all it did was keep me from learning to really appreciate good food and keep me from learning to take real satisfaction from food, which ultimately resulted a disordered relationship to eating, more weight gain, and less overall health.

    There was a pretty good blog post I read the other day on how they totally miss the forest for the trees:

  7. Studies have shown that regular bacon and turkey bacon has the same amount of calories and fat but turkey bacon has more sodium. They also are saying regular bacon is the better choice. It was on Oprah right before she went off the air.

  8. I love the guy in the pic. Made me laugh though, coz he is a porn star called Charlie: http://themaleform.net/members/models/images/Charlie-Set-C-01.jpg

  9. ScottishSteve says:

    One of the most interesting things I have seen on TV is how people eat. It has been suggested that people over eat because they don’t give their brain enough time to realise that they have had enough food. I have actually seen this done and people lost alot of weight. Also alot of the time when people say they are hungry it’s also been said that they are actually thirsty. A glass of water about 20 or so minutes before you eat can sometimes help too. Sometimes it pays to eat smarter, not just healthier!

  10. Oh yes Davey, the Canadian boy looks really nutritious! Substitutes? Why would you want to substitute such a perfect specimen? You wrote about healthier options for what? No, I didn’t notice, but I can tell you how to tell if a boy is fresh – poke him and see if he’s firm, smell will reveal if he’s at his tastiest best, and put him in a condom before cooking (It’s just a healthier option)! Can you all figure out how to tell when he’s done, or do you need help?

  11. As great as bison meat is, that’s not really that realistic, you can’t exactly just go buy that (I don’t even want to think about the price).

    Honestly those substitutions would take a lot of work to use, I mean japanese potato salad isn’t exactly going to work with mashed potatoes as mayo T.T

    • * avocado Woops T.T

      You have more or less partial substitutions, they work with some things… others? Not so much.

  12. How do you use balck beans as a subsititute?

  13. In place of mashed potatoes, I steam cauliflower & garlic cloves in low sodium chicken stock then puree it with a touch of olive oil & some of the stock. Has a very similar flavor.

  14. whats your name this boy ?

  15. what your name this boy canadi plz sen me name this boy plz thnx