IBS: Replacing Fat

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Elaine Magee
What IS that funny stuff frying in the pan? Is that truly bacon? Yes, it's low fat turkey bacon, and it's a fantastic idea for anyone suffering from IBS because fat is a strong stimulant of the bowel. The good news is that there are literally hundreds of lower fat and fat free options available in your local supermarket. The bad news is that many of those foods have replaced the fat with more sugar or starch. So what's a weight conscious, IBS sufferer like me to do? Use my kitchen tested tips to reduce the fat and calories in your favorite recipes. Here is my arsenal: Low fat buttermilk is thick and has a pleasant sour flavor that can replace some fat in muffins and pancake recipes. Chocolate syrup is actually fat free and has about 40 calories a tablespoon. Use it instead of oil in cakes or brownies—but be sure to reduce the granulated sugar by the same amount. Fat free or light cream cheese is a favorite, as it keeps the richness of cookies, frostings, pie crusts and biscuits when you replace half the butter with it. Nonfat sour cream works well in cakes and brownies. Flavored low fat yogurt is a fantastic replacement for some of the oil in quick breads and some cakes. And you can have fun with mixing the flavors--coffee in a chocolate cake; lemon or orange in a spice cake. Fruit juices—like apple, raspberry and orange--replace most of the oil in my marinades and salad dressings. Olive and canola oils are the heart healthy choices for frying and sauteeing. Use the spray version to cut down on volume. Olive oil is especially good for you, but one tablespoon has 120 calories and 14 grams of fat, so use it sparingly. Fruit and their purees are a staple in my kitchen. I use crushed pineapple, for example, in place of half the oil in a carrot cake....and applesauce or apple butter for all the oil in cake mixes. You can't automatically cut fat in all recipes without sacrificing flavor and texture. For WebMD, I'm Elaine Magee.