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Healthy Substitutes for Sour Cream

By Angela Lang

Substituting healthier options for your favorite high-fat condiments can greatly reduce the calories and fat you consume. Sour cream can be particularly high in calories and fat, with the average 2-tablespoon serving providing 60 calories and 6 grams of fat. Healthier options are available that can provide a delicious alternative to add to your favorite foods.

Low Fat or Non-Fat Sour Cream

The American Heart Association recommends substituting low-fat or non-fat sour cream for the full-fat version. Low-fat sour cream generally cuts the calories in half and provides less than 2 grams of fat per 2 tablespoon. The non-fat variety has an average of 25 calories per 2 tablespoons and zero fat. These healthier options also provide the same taste. Dairy Foods Magazine describes non-fat sour cream as "truly one of the greatest fat-free success stories in the dairy case."

Other Dairy Products

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Disorders and Kidney Diseases recommends substituting low-fat plain yogurt for full-fat sour cream. This simple substitution can save you 5 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons. If you need a creamy texture to your recipe, Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt and provides more protein per serving. The American Heart Association states that you can also substitute low-fat, unsalted cottage cheese for sour cream in your recipes.

IMO: Imitation Sour Cream

IMO is a type of imitation sour cream made from tropical oils, according to the Interstitial Cystitis Network. As a result, IMO may be high in saturated fat. IMO is a good substitute for sour cream for individuals with lactose intolerance because it is a lactose-free product, according to the Cancer Supportive Care Programs. IMO does not significantly lower calories or fat--as it contains 60 calories and 6 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons--but it is an alternative for you if you cannot tolerate dairy products.

Soy-Based 'Sour Cream'

Soy protein-based sour cream, which is dairy and lactose free, can be a healthy alternative if you have a dairy allergy. Tofutti offers "Sour Supreme" as a soy protein-based option. It is similar in calories and fat to full-fat dairy-based sour cream, but the product is a healthy alternative for vegetarians, those allergic to dairy and anyone who is lactose intolerant.

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