A lot of people are concerned about fat in their diet as they are becoming more and more health conscious. Reducing fat by cooking healthy will provide you and your family with many health benefits. It will help you maintain a healthy weight and protect you from diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancers and promote good health, overall.
How to cut down on fat?
Start by choosing low-fat ingredients:
Make your favourite recipes healthier by substituting ingredients to cut down on the content of fat. You and your family probably won’t even notice the difference in taste. This table can help you get started:
|Food choice||Healthier alternative|
|Full fat milk/cream||Low-fat or fat free milk/light cream|
|Full fat cheese||Reduced fat cheese|
|Sour cream||Light sour cream, or fat free labneh|
|Whole chicken||Chicken breast without skin|
|Lamb meat||Lean beef, veal or turkey|
|1 Egg||2 Egg whites|
Choose healthier fat in your cooking:
- Avoid the fats that are solid at room temperature such as ghee, butter and margarine. These are full of saturated fats that are associated with raising blood cholesterol and increasing the risk of heart disease.
- Instead use vegetable oils in moderation especially olive oil and canola oil which have many health benefits.
- Remember, these oils are not calorie-free, so use them sparingly…
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil = 14 grams of fat = 120 calories
- What you can do is stir-fry or cook your meals with a minimal amount of vegetable oil (a couple of tablespoons of oil for the entire dish)
Opt for healthy methods of cooking:
Whenever possible, grill, bake, microwave or steam foods without the addition of fat or stir-fry with minimal amounts of oil.
Be aware of hidden fats:
Some fats are not visible to our eyes and they are found in high amounts in certain foods like:
- Fats ground into hamburgers
- Fats blended into sauces and mixed dishes
- High fat foods such as avocadoes, cheeses, coconuts, nuts, olives
- Fried foods such as French fries and fried chicken
- Processed foods such as biscuits, snacks, dips
Reducing fat in your cooking does not necessarily mean reducing its flavour; food does not have to be bland to be healthy. Enhance the flavour of your dishes by using fresh vegetables, fresh herbs and spices, which add flavour without adding calories. Preparing your meals in this healthy way will guarantee you and your family better health and a better figure.