52 delicious ways to cut the fat and save the flavor


low_fat_cRemoving the skin from chicken reduces the fat substantially. Problem is, skinned chicken has a nasty habit of turning tough and dry when you cook it. A coating of low-fat yogurt and a few spices, however, can work wonders. Beans are a terrific protein source but have considerably less fat than red meat. And fruit salsas pack a flavorful punch with little to no fat.



9 Tried-and-True Tips to Cut the Fat:

  • Cream soups with pureed cooked potato, not cream.
  • Prepare stuffing (homemade or packaged) with broth or applesauce instead of some or even all of the fat.
  • Reduce the serving size without making it look like less: Pound meats and chicken breasts or buy thin cutlets.
  • Combine meats if you can. Use half ground turkey, half ground beef in meat loaf and meatballs.
  • When browning meat for stew and pot roast, use a nonstick pan and only 1 teaspoon oil. If you don't have a nonstick pan, spray pan lightly with cooking spray and heat, then add 1 teaspoon oil.
  • Cut back on the amount of Cheddar cheese a recipe calls for, and add a bit of Parmesan for flavor. Or take advantage of the fuller flavor of sharp Cheddar, but use a smaller amount than you would a mild Cheddar.
  • Replace half the mayonnaise in creamy dressings and dips with plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt. Add herbs, mustard, horseradish or salsa to boost the flavor.
  • You may be able to substitute cocoa, which is fairly low in fat, for chocolate in some cakes and cookies. Add more liquid, if necessary, to make the food moist.
  • Cut back on the nuts and chocolate in cakes and cookies.
Sweet Treats

If you know where to look, you can even indulge in all sorts of sweets without feeling guilty about the fat.

The low-fat pantry

Until they invent a low-fat potato chip that tastes like something other than stale cardboard, you're going to have to look elsewhere for low-fat foods. It's not like hunting down the Holy Grail, however, and there are plenty of smart choices -- and even a few surprises -- out there.

  1. Bread
  2. Buttermilk
  3. Cocoa
  4. Fig bars
  5. Graham crackers
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Pasta (but watch the sauces)
  8. Pickles and pickled vegetables
  9. Rye Krisps
  10. Salsa
  11. Tortilla chips (but only the baked variety)

Regular strip bacon has as much as eight times the fat of Canadian bacon, which is a bit more expensive but certainly worth it. You don't have to deep-fry something to get a crispy coating. Bake it instead, but do so on a rack.

It's Easier than You Think

Don't be afraid of convenience foods, just prepare them using low-fat products. For packaged macaroni and cheese, for example, use skim milk and cut down the amount of fat called for.

Trading Off

Low fat doesn't have to mean less food -- quite to the contrary, it often means more.

For the sake of comparison, we asked a group of registered dieticians to show us just what you get for your fat:

1 croissant = 10 bagels

1/4-pound fast-food cheeseburger = 3 fast-food grilled-chicken sandwiches

1 cup premium vanilla ice cream = 28 ounces of large jelly beans

The Good News...

There's never been a better time to cut back on fat. Manufacturers are flooding supermarkets with low-fat or nonfat versions of their products, and at last you can actually believe the claims they make on the packages. With a little ingenuity, you can use their reduced-fat products to replace most of the fat-laden ones you're accustomed to. Do it gradually and your family might not even notice. And incidentally, studies have shown that the more fat you eat, the more you crave. If you can cut back on fat and stick to it, eventually you may not even miss it.

...And the Bad

Fat lurks in strange places. Who would have thought that a harmless little avocado could have as much fat as six Twinkies? Or that a carob bar, which sounds so sensible, is dripping with 28 grams of the stuff? When you shop -- and especially when you snack -- be on the lookout for high-fat surprises:

Part-skim cheeses (1 oz) - 5 to 7 g of fat

Microwave popcorn (3 cups) - 11 g

Seeds (sesame, sunflower etc.) (1 oz) - 14 g

Granola (1/2 cup) - 8 to 1.

Trading Up

Before you dive into that cheese Danish, consider that a bagel with an ounce of light cream cheese will save you roughly 10 grams of fat. Use your head and you can almost always find a better way.

Prepared with the assistance of Lynne Hill, Hill Nutrition Associates, Inc., Stuart, Florida; Jennifer Stack, senior nutritionist at NYU Medical Center, New York City; Elizabeth Ward, Boston-based spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.



+1 #1 Lizz 2009-08-18 15:14 I've never dieted and I like my shape . So, eat all you want and enjoy it Quote

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