Low fat food does not have to mean low taste food! Whether you’re dining out or preparing your own meals at home, there are a variety of tasty, healthy recipes to support your low fat diet.
Eating low fat means eliminating unhealthy fats from your diet and replacing them with healthier options. To do that, you need to be aware that nearly any recipe or type of food can be prepared healthy or unhealthy. Healthy consists of ingredients that are fresh, nutritious, unprocessed, low in sugar, and low in fat and sodium.
With a few key do’s and don’ts, the 4 flavorful choices below will give you great ideas for future meals and options for choosing healthy when eating out.
Food #1: Pasta
Pasta can be a flavorful, healthy, low fat meal option. Make sure to choose whole grain, instead of white flour pasta and compliment it with a rainbow of vegetables. If you add a protein, use only lean proteins and season with herbs and spices instead of butter and salt.
To keep the pasta healthy, avoid cream sauces that are high in fat; choose unsaturated oils like olive to dress your pasta, and replace high fat beefs and sausages in your sauces with lean proteins.
Food #2: Soups
Soups are healthy, year-round options. Start with low sodium beef or chicken stock for the base. Add lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish instead of beef. Utilize the bones of the meats to simmer in the stock for flavor, and cut down on the fattier beef itself.
To prevent making soups unhealthy, avoid high fat dairy products like cream, cheese, and sour cream. Choose skim products instead. Eliminate high carb ingredients like chips and crackers as sides, and opt for vegetable garnishes. Instead of white flour and starch as a thickener, start earlier and simmer the soup longer to thicken the liquid meal naturally.
Food #3: Salads
Salads can be both healthy and inspiring. Look for a wide variety of vegetables and herbs to increase nutrition. Add fruits, nuts, and seeds for extra antioxidants, texture, and taste. Choose healthy oils and vinegars as dressings instead of store-bought dressings that can have artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.
To keep salad healthy, eliminate full-fat and cream-based salad dressings. Replace fried proteins in the salad with grilled and broiled options.
Food #4: Grilled/Broiled/Roasted Proteins
Grilled, broiled, or roasted lean proteins like fish and poultry make excellent low fat protein options. Use seasoning rubs and herbs to add flavor and texture. Add fruits and vegetables to the proteins instead of addition salt, sugar, or fat for taste.
Avoid saturated fats, like butter, by replacing them with unsaturated fats, like olive and canola oil. Exchange creamy sauces for healthier low-fat marinates, and try using smoking chips on your grill for added flavor.
Eating out at restaurants, fast food establishments, or in your own kitchen should be an adventure in both taste and nutrition. You do that with healthy preparations and by avoiding unhealthy additives. Use these “do’s” and “don’ts” to help you make low fat, enjoyable food choices wherever you eat. Fat doesn’t guarantee taste–good preparation does!