The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat intake to less than 5-6% of your total calories. Saturated fats are typically animal sourced (with the exception of coconut) and solid at room temperature (think butter, cheese, marbling of steak, skin of the chicken). The AHA also states that replacing foods that are high in saturated fat with healthier options can lower risk of heart disease. But are you still apprehensive to hold the butter?? Do you think you need lots of fat to make something flavorful?? Think again. Here are 3 heart healthy swaps to help you decrease your intake of saturated fat without sacrificing any of the flavor.
I’m a sucker for creamy nostalgic family favorites – think creamy potato soup, chicken pot pie, alfredo pasta- but most are loaded with heavy cream and butter. To lighten up these creamy, comfort classics try swapping the heavy cream or half and half for evaporated milk (found in the baking aisle) and low sodium broth of choice.
I also grew up loving chips and French onion dip – and often crave that flavor combo because of it. An essential in my arsenal is plain fat free Greek yogurt. Rich in protein, calcium, and probiotics you can easily use it in place of sour cream, mayonnaise, crème fresh, and cream cheese. If you aren’t quite ready to commit to a 1:1 swap, consider just replacing half and build from there. Hide the packaging and put a small bowl of it on the table during taco night, will anyone notice??
You may have already swapped your high fat ground beef for leaner versions of beef, chicken or turkey- and if you did, right on! Ever feel like it leaves something to be desired?? The lower fat content of lean ground meats can taste dry. Try taking your swap a step further by mixing your meat with chopped mushrooms for added moisture and drool appeal. As your meat cooks it will release savory juices that the mushroom absorbs (basically like savory sponges). I’ve been tricking the kids for years with this tactic, they still have no idea half of their burger is mushrooms (and I might take that to the grave). It’s the natural umami/savory quality of the fungi that further disguises them (deep fake!). Mushroom blending is a game changer for all my ground meat recipes, and it’s all thanks to the Mushroom Council. Its as easy as 1, 2, 3:
Step 1: Chop your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of ground meat.
Step 2: Blend the chopped mushrooms with any ground meat.
Step 3: Cook your mushroom-meat blend to complete the recipe.
Learn more about the blend and how to become a “Blenditerrean” at: https://www.mushroomcouncil.com/the-blend/