A Few Quick, Easy And Tasty Ways to Lowering Fat in Your Food
One way to eat healthily is to cut down on unhealthy or “bad” fat in your diet and thus in your cooking. It is important to differentiate between the 2 basic types of fat; “good”, (unsaturated fats), which, are part of a healthy diet and “bad”, (saturated fats), which are thought to cause high cholesterol.
Reducing fat for a healthy diet means cutting down on “bad” fat.
Here are some quick, easy and tasty ways to reduce bad fat.
Frying is not good for your health and there are many alternatives which are actually
easier and just as tasty. Don’t knock it until you have tried it!
Grilling meats is easier and cleaner. No more spitting fat all over the cooker. If you put the grill pan low in the oven there will hardly be a spit escape, and the heat of the grill element will burn it off in an instant if it does. If you set the meat on a wire rack, any excess fat from the meat will drop into the pan below and not be re-absorbed back into the meat. The meat is cooked evenly and is really tasty and yes, healthier too.
There are many “lean machines” available to buy at reasonable prices and this gives your meat a bar-b-que taste without the fuss of looking after the fire and worrying about rain.
You just switch it on, put your piece of meat inside, close the lid and it cooks, while removing the fat.
There are many microwave dishes for cooking in a variety of ways, including browning, and bacon cooked this way is actually more full of flavour, and just as crisp.
All these alternatives cut down on adding oil for frying and remove any excess fat from the meat. Cleaning up afterwards is much less painful too, and as taste is not compromised, there are lots of advantages with no disadvantages.
If you feel you can not live without fried food, use a non stick pan as this cuts down on the amount of oil needed for cooking. Try low fat oil sprays and olive oil as the more healthy ways of frying.
Gone are the days when an alternative to “real dairy” tasted like the dogs dinner. So many valid alternatives are available, real dairy could be considered a luxury.
There is no doubt, some of the alternatives are not good, but plenty are. Simply try a few until you find what suits you and your family and they won’t know the difference.
Many people find soya milk very different to ordinary milk, but hardly anyone can tell the difference between soya cream and real cream. As for soya ice-cream – well it is just so rich and good it is much better than ordinary ice-cream. It also appears to bring out the other flavours much more, be they strawberry or chocolate or something else entirely. You can even make your own easily.
Why bother using half fat milk, where you are losing some fat but keeping some. Go for no fat and again you will find many on the market that you can’t tell apart in tea, coffee and for cooking. There are some hat are just as good on cereals too, but even if you only use no fat milk for drinks, you have cut your fat intake by over half, so the odd indulgence won’t matter so much.
The same applies to cheese. Go for low fat for cooking and wherever you can, then enjoy an occasional pieces of Brie on a cracker without worry.
Many spreads not only hold no bad fat, but actually reduce your cholesterol, rather than add to it. In a sandwich or for cooking and baking the difference is negliable if not indistinguishable – even on hot toast, spreads melt and taste great.
If you cut out as much fat as you can then some will be much less harmful and do remember that if you eat cookies, chocolate or bought cakes there is nearly certain to be dairy products in these.
It is not the meat that does the worst damage, it is the fat it contains. Low fat meat is obviously better, like chicken or pork, but if you want beef, buy cuts that only has fat at the edges so this can be removed before cooking. This eliminated the risk of it melting during cooking and then being reabsorbed into the meat during the rest of the cooking process and for the same reasons, remove the skin from any meat that has it, like chicken.
Anything that involves minced meat, hamburgers, sausages, lasagna etc. can also be improved. Sausages and hamburgers cooked in the oven or in a lean machine will lose a lot of their fat content during cooking, but there are also vegetarian sausages that taste wonderful, so much so that in a blind test 9 out of 10 people mistook them for real sausages.
If you do not enjoy soya meat, try Mycoprotein meat. This looks like mince meat, acts like mince meat and tastes like mince meat, but is a fungus. This is great for making lasagna, hamburgers, chilli con carne and many other dishes. It is had a very low fat content, few calories, no cholesterol count and no trans fat, while being high in fiber and essential amino acids. The perfect meat in every way.
The important thing is not to judge these alternatives before you have tried them, and also to try more than one type. They are not all the same and not all taste nice, so just be patient and give them a fair chance. Just as you tried a few packets of bacon before finding the one you likd best, try a few alternatives to minced meat to see if one will suit you.
Chips , French fries or crisps
Chips, French fries and crisps are something we always associate with deep frying, but this does not mean they have to be totally eradicated from your diet. Simply substitute oven chips for fried ones, not only are these healthier and easier to make, (just put them in the over for 20 minutes and forget about them), but they cleaner too – no hot fat smells hovering over every room in the house to say nothing of your clothes and hair.
Oven chips are not the same as deep fried ones, but if you stick o the healthy version most of the time you can indulge in fried ones as a treat from time to time without worry.
Crisps are bad for you in other ways, apart from the fat for cooking, as the starch from the potatoes can badly damage your teeth, so swaping them for corn snacks cooked in the oven will benefit you in many ways. These can be just as tasty, or even more so.
If you feel you can not live without srisps, go for the low fat ones which are increasing in number and flavour every day.
Baked potatoes are another tasty, healthy option for replacing chips.
Remember the bigger they are the less oil they absorb.
Most people only think of the above mentioned food stuffs when thinking about fats, but there are some plants to add to this list, and you probably eat one or more of them without realising it.
These plants can contain large amounts of saturated fat. Among the ones with the highest levels of bad fats are; coconut oil and coconut milk, palm oil and palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter.
A few examples of these plant products in normal food stuffs are; most chocolate containe cocoa butter, both coconut and palm oils are used in coffee creamers and non-dairy toppings and in many biscuits and cakes.
These substances can be found in many products available to buy in supermarkets and shops and a reasonable number of pre-pared foods conatin one or more of them.
The type of oil you choose to cook with will have a bearing on how healthy the finished meal is. Obviously any oil will contain fat, but is a question of how much and what type. Olive oil, (extra-virgin is the best in every way, including taste), and sunflower oil are better than vegetable or corn and also than the increasilgly popular sesame and peanut oils.
A few hints
Vegetarian meals are beneficial to good health and even if you enjoy meat and dairy,
the odd totally vegetarian meal will be a welcome change. (Pasta with a tomato or pesto sauce is a good example of a vegatarian meal.)
Herbs and spices generally are beneficial and add a lot of flavour which by eliminating certain fats you may feel are lacking.
While it is better to avoid processed, prepared food, if you are buying any – read the
label. Many manufacturese make the same food stuffs, but not in the same way, so one make will be healthier than another. Know what you are eating.
Most meals will freeze well, so you can make double without adding much time to the preparation, and then you have your own, healthy, convience food.
Salads dressed with Balsamic vinegar are tasty, light and healthy.
Cut down slightly on portions of fatty meat and add to the vegetables to keep the same quantity of food but reduce fat.
Reading the label will not only tell you what fat content is, but also all the other ingredients, including sodium, chemicals and many more.
If you remove a lot of bad fat from your cooking you can then enjoy treats – be it fried chips, chocolate, cake or a glass of real milk, without worry. A little is not harmful, it is a lot that does damage and remember you eat much more that you think in food bought outside the house.
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