Healthy Eating Tips For Reducing Fat in Your Diet
Did you know there are at least four great reasons to eat less fat?
- It can assist in weight loss or weight maintenance since you will be eating fewer calories.
- It can help reduce your risk of heart disease by reducing saturated fat, which will help lower blood cholesterol levels.
- It may help reduce your risk of cancer.
- Eating fewer high-fat foods means more room for fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.
Here are some tips to help get you started on reducing the amount of fat in your diet, and keep you going.
- Use reduced-fat or nonfat salad dressings.
- Use nonfat or lower fat spreads, such as jelly or jam, fruit spread, apple butter, nonfat or reduced-calorie mayonnaise, nonfat margarine, or mustard.
- Use high-fat foods only sometimes; choose more low-fat and nonfat foods.
- To top baked potatoes, use plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt, nonfat or reduced-fat sour cream, nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese, nonfat margarine, nonfat hard cheese, salsa or vinegar.
- Use a little lemon juice, dried herbs, thinly sliced green onions, or a little salsa as a nonfat topping for vegetables or salads.
- Use small amounts of high-fat toppings. For example, use only 1 tsp butter or mayonnaise; 1 tbsp sour cream; 1 tbsp regular salad dressing.
- Switch to 1 percent or skim milk and other nonfat or lower fat dairy products (low-fat or nonfat yogurt, nonfat or reduced-fat sour cream).
- Cut back on cheese by using small (1 oz) amounts on sandwiches and in cooking or use lower fat and fat-free cheeses (part-skim mozzarella, 1 percent cottage cheese, or nonfat hard cheese).
- Try small amounts of these low-fat treats: fig bars, vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, angel food cake, jelly beans,, gum drops, hard candy, puddings made with low-fat (1 percent) skim milk, nonfat frozen yogurt with a fruit topping, or fruit popsicles. Try pretzels or popcorn without butter or oil for an unsweetened treat.
- Save french fries and other fried foods for special occasions; have a small serving; share with a friend.
- Save high-fat desserts (ice cream, pastries) for special occasions; have small amounts; share a serving with a friend.
- Choose small portions of lean meat, fish, and poultry; use low-fat cooking methods (baking, poaching, broiling); trim off all fat from meat and remove skin from poultry.
- Choose lower fat luncheon meats, such as sliced turkey or chicken breast, lean ham, lean sliced beef.
- Once a week or more, try a low-fat meatless meal or main dish that features beans (tacos or burritos stuffed with pinto beans; chili with kidney beans; black beans over rice.
- Try kidney beans or black-eyed peas. It's a fast and easy way to use beans and peas without cooking them from scratch.
- Use beans as a dip for vegetables or filling for sandwiches.
- Serve soup made from beans or peas - minestrone, split- pea, black bean, or lentil (once a week or more).
- Try black-eyed peas or black beans as a vegetable side dish with meat or fish.
- Add beans to salads. Many salad bars feature kidney beans, three-bean salad, or chick peas (garbanzo beans).
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Medically reviewed by Robert Bargar, MD; Board Certification in Public Health & General Preventive Medicine August 1, 2017