Many people want to start eating low-fat meals, but they aren’t sure they can do it consistently because they don’t feel they can include their family. If you feel this way, there is good news…you can eat low-fat meals and still feed your whole family! Below are some tips to help you get started.
- Some fat is good. The big mistake made by many people who start low-fat diets is that they try to cut out all fat. Don’t do this. You’re body actually needs some fat in order to absorb fat soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin D. Therefore, don’t eliminate all fats from your diet…be sure to keep healthy fats in it.
- Look at low-fat options. More than likely, you’ll be able to easily find high-fat foods upon a quick inspection of your refrigerator. To get started on your low-fat diet, replace these foods with the low-fat versions. This is especially true for dairy products. Almost every recipe calls for dairy products, using the low-fat products will help you reduce the fat content you and your family consume. You can also find many products in fat-free versions too, which will help even more!
Cook with lean meat. When it’s time to purchase meat, choose meats that are lean. If you are going to cook with ground beef, get the 93/7 cut.
Also, start cooking with other lean meats such as fish and poultry. While salmon is a “fatty” fish, it’s good for you because it contains the healthy fats your body needs…therefore, don’t be afraid to fix salmon for dinner one night.
- Stop frying foods. Frying foods adds an enormous amount of fat to meals. Therefore, learn how to steam, bake, broil and poach foods instead. When sautéing foods, use broth instead of oil. If you must use oil to cook with, use olive oil.
- Consider non-stick cookware. While there are some benefits to cooking with cast iron, this cookware is very heavy and actually requires a lot more oil/grease during cooking to prevent foods from sticking. This isn’t the case with non-stick cookware. So, you might consider switching to non-stick cookware.
- Learn healthy substitutes for baking. A lot of recipes call for some kind of fat. You can actually replace most of these fats with plain yogurt and some fruit purees (apple and prune are the best). Therefore, start reducing the fats in recipes by using these healthy substitutes.
- Always stock low-fat, plain yogurt. For people who want to start cooking low-fat meals, stocking low-fat, plain yogurt is a must. You can use this as a substitute for sour cream and even strain it for a cream-cheese texture. And, instead of using heavy cream, thicken sauces with the yogurt!