Simple ways to reduce fat intake in the kitchen

A few simple adjustments to your daily routine may result in significant reductions of fat in your diet. Here are some simple ways to cook with less fat without sacrificing flavour.

Simple ways to reduce fat intake in the kitchen

Reducing the fat in meat

  • Limit meat to three or four ounces (85–115 grams) per serving.
  • Buy lean cuts and trim all visible fat before cooking. Buy extra-lean ground beef, or better still, select a lean cut and ask the butcher to grind it for you.
  • Remove the skin from poultry before eating it. In some instances, this can be done before cooking.
  • Don't buy prebasted turkey; it's often injected with coconut oil, ­butter, or other fats.
  • Broil, bake, grill or roast meat, fish and poultry. Use a roasting rack to drain off the fat as the meat cooks.

Easy ways to reduce the fat in dairy products

  • Buy low-fat or skim milk, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
  • Mash potatoes with low-fat yogurt or buttermilk; add chives and parsley for extra zip.
  • Choose broth-based soups instead of cream soups.
  • Eliminate the use of non-dairy creamers and toppings; these products are usually high in saturated fats because they are made with palm oil or coconut oil.
  • Spread sandwiches with spicy mustard, horseradish or cranberry sauce instead of mayonnaise or butter/margarine.
  • Cook rice in a fat-free broth; ­flavour it with chopped fresh herbs and scallions instead of butter.
  • Serve sherbet, sorbet, gelato or frozen yogurt instead of premium ice cream or consider other low-fat dessert alternatives, such as fresh fruits, gelatins, meringues and angel food cake.
  • Use buttermilk instead of mayonnaise or sour cream. Buttermilk may sound high in fat but it is as low as one percent milk. Use it in baking or as a base for salad dressings. Evaporated two percent milk can taste as creamy as regular cream. It can be used for rich-tasting desserts.
  • Order your cappuccino or latte "skinny," made with low-fat or skim milk.

Some other low-fat cooking tips you should know

  • Cook stews and soups in advance; chill and skim off the ­congealed fat, and reheat.
  • Avoid fried foods. Use a nonstick pan and vegetable oil spray for sautéing. Sauté in broth, wine, tomato or fruit juice instead of oil.
  • Toss salad with fat-free dressings or make your own with lemon juice or vinegar, mustard, herbs and spices. If oil is called for, use olive oil.
  • Buy a low-fat or even a fat-free substitute for mayonnaise.
  • Choose English muffins, bagels or pita instead of croissants, muffins, doughnuts or danishes.
  • Measure oil, don't eyeball it. The 50 millilitres (1/4 cup) of oil you drizzle over salad or put in your frying pan contains 46 grams of fat and about 400 calories. If you measure it, you will use less.
  • Reduce the fat in baking quick breads and muffins by substituting applesauce, banana or other pureed fruit for part of the fat.

Keep these simple tips in mind and you can reduce your fat intake without reducing the quality of your cooking in no time!

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