Healthy cooking method swaps

Healthy cooking method swaps

Healthy cooking method swaps

The way a food or drink is prepared can significantly affect its nutritional quality. Use the following table to help you swap to a healthier cooking method that will ensure a healthier dish.



Meat and alternatives


Deep fried meat and alternatives          




Bake, barbeque, grill, dry fry without added oil or fat

Braise, poach or stew




Eggs fried in oil or fat    



Use a non-stick fry pan, poach or boil egg

Spray a pan or grill with a small amount of oil


Fish and seafood


Deep fried fish and seafood      




Bake, barbeque or grill without added oil or fat

Steam or poach


Fruit, vegetable and legumes


Deep fried vegetables (e.g. tempura)

Stir-fried vegetables


Vegetables roasted in fat

Deep or shallow fried legume products (e.g. falafel, vegetable or lentil patties)



Bake, barbeque, dry-fry, dry-roast, grill with minimal added oil or fat


Blanch, boil, par-boil, microwave, steam or steam-bake

Vegetables brushed or sprayed with oil - bake or grill


Hot savoury items


Deep fried potato products

(e.g. potato chips, gems, hash browns, scallops and wedges)



Deep fried spring rolls, dim sims


Deep fried savoury pies and pastries



Oven bake potato products without added oil or fat

Bake plain potatoes with the skin without added oil or fat


Steam or oven bake without added oil and fat


Oven bake reduced fat savoury pies and pastries


Rice and noodles


Fried rice with added fat or oils



Stir fry the rice, vegetables and lean ingredients in a non-stick fry pan with a small amount of added oil or fat

Healthy ingredient swaps

Selecting healthier ingredients can have a significant impact on the nutritional quality of the dish and increase the likelihood of classifying recipes as GREEN.

Use the table below to help swap to the healthier ingredient where possible.



Breads and cereals


White, refined varieties of breads, rolls, bagels, crumpets and English muffins 


Crackers and savoury biscuits



Savoury breads, twists and pull aparts containing high fat meats


Fruit breads containing confectionary or icing



Wholegrain, wholemeal varieties



Wholegrain varieties of plain crispbreads with reduced salt and fat


Wholegrain bread with reduced fat cheese, lean meat and vegetable toppings


Wholegrain varieties with added vegetables and dried fruit without icing or confectionary


Dairy Products





Cream cheese


Sour cream



Evaporated skim milk, ricotta or cottage cheese, reduced fat yogurt (plain or vanilla)


Blended cottage cheese or ricotta


Reduced fat natural yogurt


Meat and alternatives


Meat with visible fat or skin on



Crumbed or battered meat and fish patties


Fatty processed meats such as pepperoni, salami, mortadella


Fish canned in oil or brine



Lean skinless options  (chicken, turkey, roast beef, lamb, pork)


Fresh or frozen meat/fish fillets without crumbs


Skinless or turkey meat and lean processed meat varieties


Fish canned in spring water


Oils, condiments and spreads


Butter and butter blends, copha, dairy blends, ghee, lard, palm oil, tallow

Oils, condiments and spreads

Coconut cream, milk and/or oil


Cream-based dressings(e.g. Caesar, ranch, thousand island), mayonnaise


Full fat and high salt varieties of savoury spreads e.g. peanut butter and other nut spreads (e.g. almond paste), chicken, fish and meat pastes; yeast and vegetable extract pastes (e.g. Vegemite, Marmite)


Gravy made from fatty meat juices and thickened with added fat or based on a roux; or regular packaged varieties


Regular varieties of condiments(e.g. barbeque, soy, sweet chilli, tomato sauce), Stock




Poly or monounsaturated fats (e.g. margarine) and oils (e.g. canola, olive, sunflower)



Reduced fat evaporated milk flavoured with coconut essence


Dressings made with poly or monounsaturated oils or dressings based on lemon juice, balsamic vinegar or reduced fat yoghurt


Reduced fat and no added salt varieties of spreads e.g. peanut butter and other nut spreads (e.g. almond paste), chicken, fish and meat pastes; yeast and vegetable extract pastes (e.g. Vegemite, Marmite)



Gravies made from meat juices, drained of fat and thickened with corn/plain flour; or no added salt/fat packaged varieties

Reduced fat mayonnaise


Reduced salt varieties



All types of pastries brushed with butter (choux, flaky, puff, shortcrust, filo)




Filo pastry brushed with egg, milk or spray oil



Full cream flavoured milk


Sugar sweetened soft drinks




Sugar sweetened fruit or vegetable varieties




Reduced fat plain or flavoured milk


Plain mineral water or soda water with a squeeze of fresh fruit juice or essence


99% fruit or vegetable juice varieties limited to 250ml serve size

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