A reader recently asked me how she could convert low carb recipes into low fat ones and low fat recipes into low carb ones. She had gotten advice from her doctor to lower some of her lab numbers by eating more low fat foods. While I did once lose eighty pounds eating low fat, I am not a medical professional and do not have background in nutrition to the extent of knowing that the cholesterol in this food causes this or this saturated fat causes that. But I have been on enough diets in my nearly forty years of adulthood to know a few tricks for low fat and low carb! ? So here are some tips for her—or others who want to lower carbs in their low fat recipes or lower fat in their low carb recipes.
7 Tips for Turning Low Fat Into Low Carb and Low Carb Into Low Fat
1. Depending on desired carb count, you can either use my Very Low Carb Flour Mix (VLC Flour Mix) (12 net carbs per cup) or my Low Carb Sprouted Flour Mix (under fifty carbs per cup) in any low fat recipe you have.
i. The VLC mix does have almond flour in it, so it does contain some fat (34 fat grams per cup), so if you want to have fairly low carb with about15 fat grams per cup, I recommend you use half of each mix.
ii. If you want moderate carbs with very little fat, I recommend you just use the Low Carb Sprouted Flour Mix.
2. If you don’t want to make both mixes to combine them or to spend that much money on ingredients, you could do half almond flour and half sprouted white flour. (All of these ingredients are in this affiliate round up) This would be a moderate fat and moderate carb mixture that would probably work fairly well in most recipes you want to switch this flour for.
3. All of the combinations I suggested in one and two above would work well in biscuits, cookies, cakes, and muffins. Many low carb flour combinations do not do well in pancakes, crepes, and waffles. The ones with more gluten (i.e. Sprouted Flour Mix) work better for pan and griddle “breads” as they do not stick as badly as some of the low carb combinations do.
4. Very low carb flour combinations do not have enough gluten to use in yeast products. That is why my “Low Carb Pillsbury Crescent Dough” has my Low Carb Sprouted Flour Mix and some sprouted white flour combined—no almond flour or other low carb flours that do not work in yeast products.
5. I admit that I am not up on low cholesterol, low fat, etc., and if your doctor recommended them, you need to consult with him or her for specific guidelines. However, I think the old standby tips for lowering fat would still work for you. Some of these include:
i. Using egg whites in place of whole eggs (or liquid egg whites)
ii. Using lower fat dairy products such as low fat our cream, lower fat cream cheese, low fat yogurt, etc.
iii. Using almond milk instead of dairy milk (low fat and low carb; works a lot like using skim cow’s milk, in my opinion)
iv. Using applesauce instead of oil in baked goods
v. Using broth and wine and seasoning mixture in place of oil for stir frying
vi. Using smaller amounts of stronger cheeses in place of larger amounts of milder cheese, also using lower fat cheeses, such as mozzarella, farmers, low fat cheddar, etc.
vii. Steaming vegetables and using broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce, grated Parmesan, nutritional yeast, seasonings (including my Favorite Seasoning Mix here at the blog) can all help add flavor without fat
viii. Combining ground chuck and ground turkey in crumbled beef and shaped beef (i.e. meatballs, meatloaves, etc.) recipes
ix. Using real and healthy fats when you do need fat are always recommended—these include coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and ghee (among others)
x. Using baked snacks rather than fried snacks if you do opt to buy pre-made snacks. There are healthier versions of things like pretzels, “Cheezits,” popcorn, baked corn chips, crackers, etc. These would be better choices than potato chips, fried tortilla chip, etc. Better yet, you can crisp low carb flour tortillas, unfried corn tortillas, low carb pitas, and low carb breads in the oven, microwave, or air fryer to make your own low carb AND low fat crisps.
xi. Using turkey products in place of pork, such as turkey sausage, turkey kielbasa, turkey pepperoni, and turkey bacon (if you choose to eat those types of meats)
6. As for making low fat recipes into low carb recipes, the main two culprits are usually the flour and the sugar in sweet recipes. Weight Watchers and other “fat counting” recipes will often have many of the substitution I recommended above but will have wheat or white flour (usually over 100 carbs per cup—see my Flour Chart at the blog) and sugar or honey. These will be the primary ingredients that cause the final product to have a high carb count. Using a lower carb flour combination in place of regular flour and using a carb-free (or close to carb free) bulk sweetener will help reduce the carbs in a low fat recipe greatly. (See my Sugar-Free Solutions chart at the blog and my free Sugar-Free Solutions book at the blog!)
7. This isn’t cooking or baking related, but generally speaking, we eat way more than we should. One of the best ways to lower our lab numbers is to eat less food, exercise some, and get to a healthy weight. All of the recommendations to eat these lower fat foods or cut out these carbs can help us eat better and get to a healthier weight. However, they are not an end in themselves. They are potential tools. We need to get control of mindless eating, eating when we’re not truly hungry, not stopping when we are full, etc.. These are all natural, universal, and healthy ways to get those good labs, get to a healthy weight, and feel great! Handfuls of nuts, spoonfuls of peanut butter, chunks of cheese, etc., are all healthy, but they can be unnecessary calories that keep us from getting to a healthy weight. (To learn more about weight management, check out my recent blog post and video, “Three Surefire Ways to Lose Weight.”)