Lowering Fat Content When Preparing Meals

Not all fat is bad, but a diet high in saturated fat can lead to a host of health complications.

Here are fifteen easy steps to help reduce your saturated fat intake  to ensure your meals are healthier without compromising taste:

  1. Always choose lean cuts of meat like flank steak, sirloin, porterhouse, T-bone steak and 90% lean ground beef.
  2. Always remove the visible fat from meats before cooking and remove and discard the skin from chicken and turkey.
  3. Add less meat to your soups, stews, and chili and choose more vegetables instead. After cooking, chill your casseroles, soups, and stews so that any fat hardens on the surface where it can be easily skimmed off before reheating and serving.
  4. Choose low-fat cooking techniques like broiling, roasting, grilling or poaching rather than frying. Stir-frying is preferable over deep-frying or pan-frying for lowering fat intake.
  5. Using a non-stick pan will reduce the need to add extra fat and oil when cooking.
  6. Trade your whole milk for reduced fat or skim milk.
  7. Choose low fat or part skim cheese, if you need full-fat cheeses, choose strong flavors as you will consume smaller amounts.
  8. Butter (in moderation) is a better option than manufactured oil based spreads or margarine and unsaturated oils like olive or sunflower oil are even better options. You can use cottage cheese, hummus, or avocado as an alternative to butter or margarine.
  9. To add excitement to your otherwise bland low-fat diet, use a variety of spices, seasonings, and herbs. Make use of peppers, garlic and curry powders.
  10. Reduce your intake of sour cream, try a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar to create a sour flavor and substitute low or reduced fat natural yogurt.
  11. Eliminate junk food, these processed foods contain considerable amounts of saturated fats. Learn to replace the junk with fresh and healthy foods.
  12. Choose home cooking. Foods prepared at home contain only those ingredients that you have added, you can be sure you are eating the right kind of low fat and healthy foods.
  13. When you must eat out, ask how your food is prepared before ordering and choose broiled, grilled or stir-fried foods.
  14. Never shop for food when you are hungry, you will be more likely to pick up foods which have a high-calorie content.
  15. Don’t make radical changes. Start slowly, trying to change too much, too fast may backfire. Don’t try to go fat-free overnight, start with simple changes like switching from whole milk to 2% milk followed by the gradual change to fat-free (skim) milk.

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