What Are the Best Tips for Low-Fat Eating?

Emily Pate

Simple choices at the grocery store can give you a head start when switching to low-fat eating. Choosing low-fat dairy options like skim milk and low or no-fat foods like yogurt, cheese, and mayonnaise can make a significant difference. Low-fat meats like chicken, turkey, and fish are also preferable over meats with high fat content, or you can purchase the leanest red meat possible. Some cooks may prefer to make his or her own fat-free dressings and condiments at home with olive oil and vinegar or plain yogurt as a base.

Cooking on a broiling pan can allow the fat to drip off meat, helping to make it healthier.
Cooking on a broiling pan can allow the fat to drip off meat, helping to make it healthier.

Healthy cooking methods are an important part of low-fat eating. Instead of using butter, margarine, or vegetable oil to saute or marinate, use broth or water, and throw in herbs and spices for flavor. Steaming, baking, and broiling with broth and herbs also works well. Another great tip is to always remove the skin from meat, and skim the fat from soups and stews.

Avocados are a good source of healthy fats.
Avocados are a good source of healthy fats.

Replacing fatty ingredients with healthier options can be an extremely effective way of low-fat eating. You can easily substitute or cut cream or whole milk with skim milk, and use egg whites instead of whole eggs. Low-fat sour cream and plain yogurt are effective substitutes for creamy dips. Stocking your pantry with flavorful staples like onions, garlic, and a large variety of herbs can make it easy when looking for low-fat substitutions in cooking.

Those eating low-fat should avoid fried foods.
Those eating low-fat should avoid fried foods.

Always try to use foods with a high sugar content sparingly, especially beverages. While flavored beverages and fruit cocktails may not contain it directly, unused sugar converts to fat in the body, and certain types do so more easily than others, like high fructose corn syrup. Reach instead for water, a fat and calorie-free beverage that hydrates you and boosts metabolism.

Choosing monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, is a good idea for healthier eating.
Choosing monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, is a good idea for healthier eating.

Low-fat eating doesn't have to be limited to dining at home. While preparing meals at home does give you more control over what goes into your food, choices that you make when ordering from a menu can supplement a healthy diet. You should try to order items without sauces, dips, or dressings, or ask for the condiment on the side so that you can control how much you use. You can also request for items to be grilled or steamed instead of fried and remove skin or breading yourself if need be. Requesting an extra small-sized plate on which to serve yourself can also help, since restaurant portions are typically very large, and you can limit fat intake by eating less.

Low-fat chicken may be used to make low calorie chicken soup.
Low-fat chicken may be used to make low calorie chicken soup.

Sticking with low-fat eating doesn't have to mean that you abolish fat completely from your diet. While trans fats and saturated fats contribute to heart disease and raise cholesterol, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, in fact, reverse this. Foods like olive oil, avocados, and nuts, as well as nut butters, fatty fish, and soy contain healthy fats. Whole dairy, fried foods, and commercial-baked goods, on the other hand, have trans or saturated fats that should be avoided or used sparingly.

Instead of high caloric drinks, water is a better option for low-fat eating.
Instead of high caloric drinks, water is a better option for low-fat eating.
Consuming fruits and vegetables is an important part of low-fat healthy eating.
Consuming fruits and vegetables is an important part of low-fat healthy eating.
Low-fat yogurt is a good substitute for creamy dips.
Low-fat yogurt is a good substitute for creamy dips.
Widely viewed as one of the healthiest types of cooking oil, canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats.
Widely viewed as one of the healthiest types of cooking oil, canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats.
Foods filled with saturated and trans fats should be avoided when eating a low-fat diet.
Foods filled with saturated and trans fats should be avoided when eating a low-fat diet.
Several types of fish contain healthy fats.
Several types of fish contain healthy fats.
Low-fat sour cream can be used as an effective replacement for creamy dipping sauces.
Low-fat sour cream can be used as an effective replacement for creamy dipping sauces.

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