If you thought low fat food was boring and bland, think again! A little imagination and creativity goes a long way in whipping up food that does not compromise on taste but is low on fat. After the festive and holiday season, most of us would be looking for low fat cooking tips to incorporate into our daily lifestyle. Its simple ... a few vital changes...that's all it takes!
"Without proper diet, medicines are of no use; with a proper diet, medicines are unnecessary." - Charaka (b. 300 BC) Ancient Indian physician.
Tips on Low fat cooking
Before we delve deep into this, bear in mind that not all fats are equal. Eschew saturated fats which are not always from animal source (like lard, red meat and butter). They can also come from palm or coconut oil. Equally it is prudent to skim past hydrogenated trans-fatty acids which are found in every day food like French fries and dough nuts. Ideal fats for inclusion include mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated fats found in nuts and vegetable oils like olive, safflower, corn and soy. As we have covered elsewhere in this collection of healthy food articles, include Omega 3 fatty Acids found in seafood, flax seed and cod liver oil.
- Select lean meat cuts and trim off visible fat
- Replace saturated fats with healthier options such as margarine or unsaturated vegetable oils
- Steam vegetables in a steamer or microwave.
- Incorporate boiling and broiling and baking instead of frying. Use a rack to drain off fat
- You can whip up vegetable puree sauces to accompany the meat instead of creamy sauces.
- Use cooking sprays instead of oil
- Use stock for cooking instead of oil
- Thicken gravies with milk or broth blended with flour.
- Reduce the use of canned and dried soups as they are high in salt and preservatives
- Stir fry vegetables in homemade broth.
- Make your own salad dressing instead of buying one.
Go easy on fats and watch your waistline respond too. You can add herbs and spices to your cooking for new and subtle flavors. Simple substitutions while cooking can go a long way in creating a low fat diet plan. Use fat-free milk instead of whole milk. Use low-fat cottage cheese or low fat yogurt instead of cream. You can use evaporated skim milk for cream in recipes for soups and sauces.
You can thicken your soups with low-fat yogurt and still enjoy yummy creamy soup. Snack on pretzels or low fat crackers. You can pop corn with herb seasoning or opt for angel food cake. Incorporate more leafy and dark green vegetables. Include deep yellow and colored fruits and vegetables.
Low fat food
Always read food labels to check the caloric value and the percentage of fat. Use good quality cookware so that you can keep oil usage to the minimum. Don't go overboard on greasing baking dishes. Use non-stick baking paper or grease lightly. Use egg whites instead of yolks when you cook. Opt for sourdough, whole wheat and rye breads instead of white bread and dinner rolls.
Keep off the sauce and cheese while at fast food joints. Avoid pizza toppings such as extra cheese and sausage and pepperoni. You can choose sandwiches made of whole grain bread and make it healthier with alfalfa sprouts, shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes and peppers. Go in for low fat milk drink or fruit juice. Keep sodas at bay if you are on a low fat diet.