I’m also strongly in the “healthy substitutions can taste good” camp. That’s a big “can” though, because a lot of low-cal or low-fat recipes taste awful!
When baking recipes call for vegetable oil, I substitute in nonfat or lowfat plain yogurt + a tiny bit of vegetable oil. I sometimes substitute yogurt for butter as well, but this is a more difficult call to make since butter is often more of a “structural” component in recipes.
I usually reduce the sugar in recipes, but that’s mostly because I think almost all American desserts are much too sweet (and my family agrees, so they’re happy with low-sugar). Depending on the recipe, I cut out 10-50% of the sugar when I’m baking for myself & family. Again, this can be problematic with some recipes in which the sugar is required for structure.
If at all possible, I substitute out white flour/all-purpose flour. I usually try to use whole wheat flour or buckwheat flour. Many recipes are fine with 50% white flour/50% whole wheat. Whole grain flours have more trouble rising though, so it’s often trial-and-error for me to get rid of as much white flour as possible.
I’ve not looked into diabetic sugar substitutes, but that looks like a great place to go for low-sugar! (My boyfriend and I both NEED sugar with our metabolisms.)
And I guess when all else fails, there’s always portion size control. :verysad: