Reducing Fat Intake
The following steps are simple suggestions that you can begin right away to reduce your fat intake:
Green and Sweet.
Fruits and vegetables - fresh, frozen, or canned - contain no cholesterol and are almost always low in saturated fat. they also provide the additional benefit of vitamins and minerals. Read labels, however, because the vegetables may contain added salt.
Diabetics and persons with high triglycerides will need to limit their intake of fruits in order to avoid raising their blood sugar or triglyceride levels.
But add low fat. Consider low fat cottage cheese, farmer cheese, or pot cheese, which are lower in saturated fat.
Choose low fat cheeses that have between two and six grams of fat per ounce. Eat low fat cheese as a condiment, not as a main part of your meal.
Look for low fat or non fat products and compare different products and brands for fat content.
Go with Fish.
Nothing fishy about the advice to eat more fish - evidence has shown us time and time again it is good for your heart. Omega 3's are polyunsaturated and are found in fish oils.
Research indicates that people who eat fish regularily have lower incidents of heart disease. A different study reported there were nearly one-third fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease among 1250 men studied whose diet included omega 3 fatty acids, amounting to the equivalent of 2 to 3 meals of fish per week, compared with 1300 men who ate no fish at all.
Shoot for fish at least twice a week. If you choose canned fish, make sure it is in water instead of oil. In preparing your fish, remember to bake, poach, or broil - don't fry! See our sister site's Healthy Fish Recipe Collection for ideas.
Skinless poultry is generally lower in saturated fat than meat. Chicken is also very versatile and you can make almost an endless amount of different and delicious chicken dishes. Limit your portion size to about three to four ounces twice per day, and choose white meat over dark meat. Be sure to always remove the skin from poultry, perferably before cooking.
Grams of Fat Per One-Cup Serving:
- Fat free milk: less than 0.5mg
- Buttermilk: 2g
- Low fat milk: 3g
- Reduced fat milk: 5g
- Whole fat milk: 8g
Change Your Oil
Choose liquid vegetable oils that are highest in unsaturated fat. They are available in a number of forms such as: canola, safflower, sunflower, corn, olive, sesame and soybean oils.
Salads are an enjoyable way to add a variety of vegetables and textures to your diet. If you had previously been a big meat eater and are now trying to reduce your intake of meats, salads can be a filling and tasty complement to any meal. Remember though, to choose a low or non fat salad dressing so you don't erase all the good you are doing by eating more "Greens".
Going Egg White is Bright
Egg whites contain no cholesterol; substitute two whites for each whole egg in recipes. The recommendation is no more than three egg yolks per week, and this includes eggs used in food preparation. Also try egg substitutes as a convenient, low cholesterol alternative to whole eggs. See" Quick Cooking with Egg Substitute.
Pretzels, low salt and low fat crackers, fig bars, yogurt, raw vegetables and fruit, blender shakes of low fat milk and frozen fruit, and air popped popcorn without butter are all better snacks than salted crackers, potato chips and nuts.
- Instead of a doughnut at 14g of fat, try a bagel at 2g of fat
- Instead of a pastry or danish coming in at 38g or more of fat, try hot cereal at only 2g fat
- Instead of a muffin (not low fat) that contains between 5 and 12g fat, try an English muffin containing only 1 to 2g fat
- Instead of a biscuit (2 ounces), which has 7g fat, try a corn tortilla for only 2g fat
- Instead of an ice cream bar (8 to 30g fat), have a frozen fruit bar at ZERO fat
- Instead of ice cream, coming in at 11g a serving for regular, have sherbert, no cream, for 3g fat per serving
- If you like REALLY rich ice cream (18g of fat per serving), try frozen low fat yogurt (3g fat per serving for most)
Tips for Reducing Fats, Cholesterol and Salt
As you learn to make heart healthy choices at the supermarket, you also have to be knowledgeable about heart healthy cooking.
- Bake, broil, roast, poach, steam or braise meat and poultry instead of frying to reduce fat.
- If you make stews or soups that contain meat, chill them overnight and lift off the fat before you reheat and serve.
- Steam vegetables without adding fat.
- The microwave is excellent for fat free cooking.
- Use nonstick cookware, a nonstick spray or saute foods in broth to cut out fat.
- Season vegetables with herbs and spices instead of fatty sauces, butter or margarine.
- Use vegetable oil in place of solid shortening, margarine and butter whenever possible.
- Replace whole milk with low fat or fat free milk in puddings, soups and baked products as well as for cereal and drinking.
- Cook meat or poultry on a rack so the fat will drain off. Use a nonstick pan or nonstick spray for cooking so added fat is unnecessary.
Shaking the Salt Habit
You may have been told to cut back on salt or even cut it out completely. That's tough to do, but important especially for those who have high blood pressure.
Check labels for the amount of sodium in foods and choose those products low in salt. Most frozen dinners and combination dishes, packaged mixes, canned soups and salad dressings contain a considerable amount of sodium. So do condiments such as soy and other sauces, pickles, olives, catsup and mustard. The American Heart Association suggests that healthy adults should reduce their sodium intake to at minimum 2400mg a day (about 1 teaspoon) - some are even now saying less. If you enjoy cooking, consider our low sodium/salt recipes.
Avoid the salt shaker - it might be a tough habit to break, but you'll get used to it. You're getting plenty of salt in your daily foods. If you're having an especially tough time with this, there are many commercial salt substitutes available, as well as a reduced sodium version of salt.
Also, very important that you learn the basics of reading food labels.
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.