Strategies to Reduce Fats and Oils in the Diet
article by Clare Wood
For most people in western society, a high fat diet is second nature. Fats and oils are an essential part of our diet, the problem is we always exceed our needs. There are many health disadvantages to a high fat diet, such as becoming overweight, increased risk for heart problems and some cancers.
Where is fat found?
There are three main sources of fat in our diets:
- Naturally occurring fat in foods such as meat, chicken, full-cream dairy products and eggs.
- Added to foods during cooking and preparation, such as spreads for bread or fired foods.
- Added during the processing of foods, such as chips, cakes, biscuits and chocolate.
Strategies to reduce intake of fats and oils
- Trim the serve size of 'meat' at meals, and most importantly use lean cuts of beef, lamb, pork and chicken and cut off any visible fat or skin.
- Use low-fat ideas in meal preparation and cooking. Avoid using too much oil, try grilling, steaming, using the microwave or a spray oil. Add other flavours like herbs and spices, garlic, ginger and pepper.
- Don't smother your foods in oil, butter, creamy sauces or dressings. Try low oil dressings or lemon juice with herbs on salads. Replace butter and margarine with mustard, salsa or light mayonnaise.
- Be aware of hidden fats used to make foods like chocolate, rich desserts, biscuits, pies and pastries.
- Move to low-fat and reduced fat dairy products. yogurt, milk, fruche, and custard all come in great tasting low-fat versions Cheese can also be found in reduced- and lower-fat forms, but still watch the quantity.
- Learn to read labels to identify the fat content of packaged foods. Don't be misled by claims on the front of a packet, always check with the nutrition panel at the back for exact content.
- Also see 10 Tips To Reduce Fat In Your Diet
- Eat Less Fat - The first step to healthy eating
- More about Fat and Dieting
- Nutritional Fat and Athletes