How to Incorporate Low-Fat Foods into Everyday Meals and Snacks

How to Incorporate Low-Fat Foods into Everyday Meals and Snacks

Are you considering starting a low-fat diet? It helps to have some guiding principles so you can create your own recipes, and have a guide when you are at a party or at a restaurant. Here are some guidelines for incorporating low-fat foods into your everyday meals and snacks.

Lean meats are vital to a low-fat diet. When planning your meals, think fish, poultry, and lean beef. Another consideration is letting meat play a minor role. In other words, the meal does not need to revolve around the meat. It can be served in relatively small portions as long as the meal is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

When most of us think of animal fats, we think fatty beef burgers and steaks. But dairy products are a source of saturated animal fats that can easily be overlooked in a low-fat diet. Try incorporating low-fat or fat-free dairy products into your everyday meals. Low-fat cheeses (like cottage cheese and low-fat cheddar) can replace full-fat or processed cheese. Fat-free milk and yogurt are creamy and flavorful, and can easily replace their full-fat or low-fat versions.

Here are some simple substitutions you can employ to lower your daily fat intake. Strained, fat-free yogurt can substitute for full-fat sour cream in most recipes and as a topping. Plain, fat-free yogurt that is not strained can substitute for buttermilk, heavy cream, and other high-fat dairy products in recipes.

Eggs are considered dairy products, and are one of the more controversial sources of animal fats. If you are in the eggs-are-bad camp, try some substitutions. One tablespoon of flax meal mixed with three tablespoons of water can substitute for one egg in a recipe. Egg whites, the lower-fat portion of the egg, can be used in omelets and scrambles. Scrambled tofu is another low-fat egg replacement.

Oils are a fixture in most kitchens. How do they fit into everyday, low-fat foods? Some studies have shown that consuming healthy fats (in moderation) can actually enhance weight loss! Whether weight loss is one of your goals in eating low-fat foods, or not, incorporating healthy fats into your diet is probably a good idea.

As an overall guideline, substitute good fats for bad ones wherever you can. For instance, use olive oil for sautéing and safflower oil for baking (rather than vegetable oil, shortening, or butter). Flax meal can be used to substitute for solid or liquid fats in many recipes. Try substituting three tablespoons of flax meal for every tablespoon of fat called for in a recipe.

Typical snack foods tend to be fatty, and can often be the low-fat dieter’s downfall. Yet snacks may, in fact, be a key component to a healthy diet. They have been shown to stabilize blood sugar, prevent overeating at meals, and help incorporate healthy nutrients that may be missed at meals.

Try low-fat snack options like rolled deli turkey and veggie sticks, low-fat granola, baked corn chips and salsa. Substitute low-fat cream cheese on a whole-wheat bagel to satisfy hunger without the fat.

Get on the low fat diet bandwagon; it can be a positive approach to healthful eating. Doing so, you are less inclined to binge on comfort or fast foods and it can have a positive impact on your weight, heart health, and overall well-being

If you have questions on the type of diet you should follow for health, talk to your doctor about your concerns

Request a consultation
Dr. Fisher
This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Fisher. Dr. Jon Fisher is a Board Certified Family Physician and a recognized authority on How to Lose Weight, lower cholesterol and body contouring in a medically supervised environment. Read his full bio