Making the Change
by Amy Hunt
Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as confusing or restrictive as many people imagine. The first principle of a healthy and low fat diet is simply to eat a wide variety of foods. This is important because different foods make different nutritional contributions. You can view the change to a low fat lifestyle as an opportunity to expand your range of choices. Try to incorporate vegetables, grains, and fruits that you don’t normally eat.
Remember that there are a countless number of ways to eat low fat. You have to find what is right for you, and it will take time and practice to get everything figured out. Don’t get discouraged. The following list is just a few of the many tips to lead to a low fat lifestyle.
1. Monitor portions and serving sizes. We live in a “super sized” world, portion sizes are continually growing. Examine food labels and nutrition facts, and understand what actually constitutes a serving. It will usually be a lot less than what you think.
2. Invest in some good non-stick cookware. This will eliminate or drastically decrease the amount of fat required in cooking.
3. Do not skip breakfast. A good breakfast comprising wholegrain cereal with fat-free or low fat milk, fruit and yogurt will keep your blood-sugar levels stable and sustain you until lunchtime.
4. Drink plenty of water. It is essential for digestion, and helps you feel fuller longer.
5. Eat fish at least once a week. Fish is naturally low in fat, and some contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Buy only lean cuts of meat. Trim off any visible fat before cooking. Remove the skin on chicken and turkey before eating (you can do this after cooking because the meat doesn’t absorb much of the fat). A majority of the fat in poultry is hidden in the skin.
7. Cook lean! Choose to broil, bake, roast, or grill meat. Baste your meats with stock or broth. Use marinades of lemon juice, flavored vinegars, or fruit juices mixed with herbs.
8. Avoid frostings and sauces which are also hidden sources of fat.
9. Use small amounts of strong-flavored cheese rather than a lot of mild cheese.
10. Get into the habit of measuring the oil you use while you cook, rather than just pouring it out of the bottle. It will be much easier to moderate the amount you use.
11. To make fat-free broth, chill you meat or chicken broth. This allows the fat to rise to the top where it can be removed.
12. Stock up on spices! One of the keys to cooking low-fat and not getting bored is to spice your food well. Once you have finished a recipe, always taste it and adjust the spices to meet your taste.
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *