Tuesday, July 6, 2010

5 Ways to Reduce Fat in Your Diet

Obesity is one of the leading causes of the top 5 health issues facing us today. Our society has become focused more on doing everything at once and we're forgetting our health. Here are five ways to reduce the fat intake in your diet, and start you on the road to a better quality life.

Cut down on unnecessary fats. Buy low fat cream, milk and cheese. Low fat cream and sour cream tastes just like full fat, and has all the creaminess you'd expect. Guaranteed, you won't notice the difference. You can even substitute cream cheese for full fat cream in some recipes.
Keep a packet each of full fat and low fat cheese in your fridge. When making any cheese recipes (including pizza, cheese on toast etc) use a mixture of full and low fat cheese. You'll get the coverage of the cheese, but only a percentage of the fat.

Choose a lower fat sauce
When choosing a burger, ask for tomato sauce instead of mayonnaise (or better still- make the burger yourself from lean meat and lots of salad). Mix a small amount of different low fat sauces to create a new taste sensation! Choose tomato-based sauces on pasta instead of cheese or cream sauces. Use herbs on your vegies, not a cheese sauce. Or, skip the sauce altogether: do you really need an extra serve of sauce for dipping your fries?

Top up with vegies and salads
When choosing fast food or making your own meals, put more vegies on your plate. They have the added benefits of filling you up without eating a lot of food too, so you're inclined to not have such a full plate. Forget the burgers and fries; visit a sandwich bar instead. Ask for a low fat meat like roast chicken or turkey and stock up on the salad vegies. Ask for a low-fat dressing instead of ranch or mayonnaise.

Go with the "Good Fats"
Not all fats are equal; some are worse for you then others. Saturated fats (i.e. the ones found in animal products) are the leading cause of heart disease as plaque builds up on the walls of the arteries surrounding the heart. Avoiding saturated fats will also help lower your cholesterol. Choose lean meats to help with this. Nuts, legumes, olives and avocados have "good fats"- these fats won't help weight loss but they will help lower cholesterol, protect your heart and provide good oils for healthy cells, skin and metabolism. Olive oil, in moderation, is extremely good for your general health. Be smart with your fats and you'll reap the rewards.

More is Less
Making your own fast food-style meals means you're in control of what goes into your mouth. If you're not ready to go 100% healthy, try these simple tips to give all the flavour with half the fat.

- Use shaved meats instead of sliced. All the flavour, but thinner slices means you're saving half the fat.
- Choose low fat meats such as chicken.
- Marinated vegetables turn a boring pizza into something delicious. Use a vinegar-based marinade, not an oil-based one.

Reducing your fat intake doesn't need to be hard. It's about shopping smarter, making better choices and slowly easing into a better lifestyle. Most fast food places allow you to switch ingredients within their core menu. Whether you're attempting a lifestyle makeover or taking baby steps, these simple tips will have you wondering why you didn't do this sooner. And remember- exercise!

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