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Low Fat Food Swaps

September 3, 2020 9:00 am

Wanting to start your low fat cooking experience but feels like it is difficult to do so? Fret not! Easing your way towards a low fat cooking experience may be easier than you think.

You just have to know what low fat ingredients you can use to substitute for your commonly used ingredients when cooking Pinoy ulam recipes. Doing this little changes will definitely make a difference to your health, if done continuously.

Below are some low-calorie alternatives to provide new ideas to your old favorites.

Dairy Products Evaporated whole milk Evaporated skim milk (<1 % fat)

Reduced-fat Evaporated milk (2% fat)

Whole Milk Low fat (1% fat) Milk

Reduced-fat (2% fat) Milk

Fat free or Skim (<1% Fat) Milk

Ice cream Sorbet, sherbet, low-fat or fat-free frozen yogurt or ice cream

Frozen fruit bars

Whipping Cream Whipping Cream (made from skim milk)
Sour cream Plain low fat yogurt
Heavy Cream Evaporated skim milk

Low fat yogurt

Low fat unsalted cottage cheese

Cream cheese Light or fat-free cream cheese
Cheese (Cheddar, Swiss, Jack) Reduced-calorie cheese

Low calorie processed cheeses

Fat-free cheese

Cottage cheese (4% fat) Low fat or reduced- fat cheese
Mozzarella cheese Part-skim milk, low moisture mozzarella cheese
Whole milk ricotta cheese Part-skim milk ricotta cheese
Coffee cream (1/2 and half) or Non-dairy creamer (liquid, powder) Low fat (1%) or reduced fat (2%) milk or fat-free dry milk powder
Cereals, Grains and Pastas Ramen noodles Rice or noodles (Spaghetti, macaroni, etc.)
Pasta with white sauce (Alfredo) Pasta with red sauce (Marinara)
Pasta with cheese sauce Pasta with vegetables (Primavera)
Granola Crispy rice


Reduce-fat granola

Fats, Oils and Salad Dressings Regular margarine or butter Light margarines or butter
Regular mayonnaise Light mayonnaise


Regular Salad dressing Reduce-calorie or fat-free salad dressings

Lemon juice

Plain herbed flavoured dressing

Wine vinegar

Oil, shortening or lard Non-stick cooking spray for stir frying or sautéing



Replacing high calorie/ high fat foods with lower calories/ lower fat choices, together with sufficient physical activity, is a great way to lose or maintain weight and build healthy lifetime habits. Changes can be made gradually until you get used to it.

Being aware of what low fat ingredients to use, coupled with some creativity will make your low fat dishes a hit in the household.

Additionally, most fishes and shellfishes are low in fat and would be good protein sources in our dishes. Get your hands to try 2 of our suggested low fat dishes — our Sweet and Sour Shrimp and Steamed Tilapia for healthier and delicious meal time.


Deborah A. Sales, RND is a licensed nutritionist-dietitian handling the Science Communication Section of AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION’s Public Relations Department. She is a technical expert in food and health and an experienced Culinary Nutrition spokesperson.