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How To Cut Down On Saturated Fat

Fitness for mind and body.

First and foremost, cut down on total fat. That is a great start. Then concentrate on decreasing the amount of animal products as follows...

Dairy Products


  • Purchase lean cuts.
  • Cut off all visible fat prior to cooking.
  • Use preparation methods that get rid of more fat, such as grilling.
  • Eat 2 to 3 ounce portions (cooked). This serving is about the size of the palm of your hand, a deck of cards, or a mayonnaise jar lid.

Poultry:  Take off the skin either before or after cooking. Eat 2 to 3 ounce portions (cooked).

Seafood:  Choose lower fat fish. Prepare with small amounts of fat. Eat 2 to 3 ounce portions (cooked).

Cheese:  Limit amount you eat. Buy part skim, lower calorie cheeses.

Butter:  Use tub margarine or whipped butter.
Use butter on occasion, maybe in a recipe.

Milk/yogurt:  Use the fat-free (skim) varieties.

Processed Foods:  Read the labels of processed foods and check for tropical oils (such as palm or coconut), and see how far down on the ingredient list they fall. Ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance in the product. The ingredient used in the greatest quantity is listed first, and the ingredient used in the smallest quantity is listed last.

How to beef up monounsaturated fats:

  • Monounsaturated fats are known as the good guys. Monounsaturated fats offer the benefit of lowering cholesterol, while not decreasing the body's good cholesterol (HDL).
  • Stock canola and/or olive oil in your cupboard. Use these oils to saute, cook, prepare salad dressing or bake.
  • Throw a few nuts on foods -- salads, desserts, stir-fries.
  • Use a slice or two of avocado on a salad, to garnish a casserole, or for guacamole as a Mexican topping.
  • Use a few olives on a relish plate, to toss in a salad, as a garnish.
  • Buy canola or olive oil-based commercial salad dressings, canola-based margarine and mayonnaise or make your own with olive or canola oil.

Easy ways to spare and skim the fat:

Low Fat Dairy Products

  • Use fat-free or no more than 1 percent milk.
  • Take advantage of light and reduced fat cheeses. Find out which products you like best. Sometimes you just need to use less of the regular to get the taste you enjoy.
  • If a recipe calls for cheese and you want to use a regular type, buy a sharp variety and use a smaller quantity. The sharper taste gives more flavor with a smaller amount.
  • Buy the low-fat, light, and fat-free products that taste good to you. You might have to experiment with several -- margarine, butter (or blends), cream cheese, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream.
  • Remember, these products are not calorie-free. Be sure to read the Nutrition Facts label to learn more about the product.
  • Buy the low-fat, reduced-calorie or fat-free salad dressing that has the taste you like. No matter what salad dressing you use, don't pour on too much. Remember a 1/4 of a cup can contain as many carbohydrates as a slice of bread.
  • Use low or no sugar jelly or jam instead of margarine or cream cheese on bagel, toast, or muffins.
  • Use plain, fat-free yogurt or fat-free sour cream instead of regular sour cream -- add herbs and spices to make it tasty. Use it on baked potatoes, vegetables, chicken (and yes, chicken thighs can be made healthy, too!) and fish.
  • Always keep fresh lemon and lime on hand to squirt on vegetables and fish at the table instead of adding more fat (such as sauces or butter).
  • When you buy meats, buy lean cuts; trim off excess fat; prepare in low fat and moist ways.
  • Marinate meats and vegetables in wine, vinegars, seasonings and spices to add flavors without adding fat.
  • Consider using applesauce, prune puree or other dried fruit puree to replace fat in baked goods recipes. Check the back of boxes for some recipes or write to the manufacturer to request recipes.

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.