When you want to go low-fat in your diet, you may not think you can include the whole family; you may picture yourself eating cardboard-like food by yourself while the rest of the family eats fatty foods. But think again – you can implement a few strategies to produce low-fat food for the whole family. Here are some tips.
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Don’t Cut Out All Fat
This is a mistake that some low-fat diet enthusiasts make – they simply decide to eat no fat whatsoever. There’s a problem with that approach – it fails to take into account your body’s need for fat. Some vitamins, such as the very important Vitamin D, are fat soluble, which means you won’t absorb them without the presence of fat. So make sure you include some healthy fats, such as olive oil, in your recipes.
Replace High-Fat with Low-Fat
Look in your fridge and see what high-fat foods you can replace. That way, you’ll have low-fat versions on hand for cooking. Dairy products are especially easy to find in low to no-fat versions. Health experts recommend low-fat rather than fat-free for dairy products, because your body will have a hard time absorbing the Vitamin D in dairy products without some fat.
Chicken, beef, and vegetable stock also come in fat-free versions, which are convenient to have on hand for all sorts of dishes. You can also use the broth to sauté instead of oil.
Keep Lean Meat on Hand
Keep your kitchen stocked with lean beef, poultry, and fish. In addition, fatty fish is a good source of healthy fats, so you can always keep some salmon or Arctic char on hand, too.
Cook without Fat
Learn how to bake, broil, steam, and poach foods instead of frying them. For sautéing, you can use broth instead of oil, or use the sauté as a chance to get some healthy oil into your diet.
Let’s face it – cast iron cookware may be durable, but it does require more “grease” than non-stick cookware. In fact, you need to keep cast iron oiled for it to perform well. Using non-stick cookware enables you to cook foods without a lot of added fat to prevent sticking.
Low-Fat Baking – Substitutes
Did you know that fruit purees – particularly prune and apple – can replace some of the fat in many baked goods? The same can be said for plain yogurt, too – try replacing half to three-fourths of the fat in a recipe with low-fat, plain yogurt. And speaking of plain yogurt…
Keep Low-Fat, Plain Yogurt on Hand
This is a “workhorse” in the low-fat kitchen. You can strain it to make a cream cheese-like texture, or use it as a sour cream substitute in many dishes. Plain yogurt thickens sauces in place of heavy cream. Greek versions are naturally thicker and can be used similarly.