By Kahti Paydar | Registered Dietitian
You can cook healthier at home without sacrificing flavor. It’s easy to make your own recipes a little lower in fat and calories and make progress towards a better weight.
Just follow these tips to lower the fat content of your meals and snacks.
Cook With Less Fat
It’s great to start with low-fat ingredients, and a little know-how is all that’s needed to keep them low in fat by choosing the right cooking method. Clean up is usually easier, too.
- Nonstick skillets usually require very little fat for cooking.
- Bake, broil, microwave, grill, or steam.
- Avoid frying and pan frying. Most recipes can be adapted by baking items instead or by using less fat.
- Defat gravy by using a special cup or chilling so fat rises and hardens at the top.
Reduce Refined Oil, Reduce Fat
Use fat-free salad dressing or a small amount of oil and vinegar to dress salads.
Measure, don’t pour!
Whenever possible, you should use liquid oils such as olive oil and canola oil, instead of shortening, lard, or butter.
Choose Lean Protein for Better Weight
- Lean cuts of meat/poultry:
- Chicken or turkey: white meat, no skin
- Tenderloin of beef
- Pork loin
- Seafood without breading or topping
- Trim excess fat before cooking
- Use less meat: A 3-ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards. Think of meat as a condiment. Fill in with more vegetables.
Choose Fat-Free Dairy
There are lots of products on the market to help you make better choices in the dairy case, but going for fat-free or reduced-fat is a great start. Consider these:
- Skim milk
- Fat-free sour cream
- Light margarine (look for trans-free)
- Fat-free half-n-half (you can cook with it!)
- Reduced fat cheese (use cheese sparingly)
Use More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables, for the most part, are naturally low in fat and sodium. Add more vegetables to casseroles, soups, stews, and pasta dishes. Here are some great produce guidelines from one of NOAH’s other Registered Dietitians.
NOAH’s Nutrition Services team works with patients to help them achieve a healthier, better weight. Learn more here!