Even if you only use a few of these simple healthy cooking choices, you can greatly decrease your fat intake. Research continues to support the importance of a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables to promote permanent weight loss. Following these simple healthy cooking revisions is an easy way to cut the excess fat out of your diet, improve your health and promote almost effortless weight loss. By making just a few simple substitutes in your recipes, you can dramatically reduce your overall fat intake. Fad diets will come and go, but a low-fat diet that is full of fruits and vegetables continues to be the best proven method of weight loss and disease prevention. The key to healthy cooking is to decrease the fat and calories while at the same time adding nutritional value to the food. You are only successful if you have not sacrificed the quality of the final product.
Here are my favorite tips: Rinse your ground beef with hot water. Do this after browning and draining it. This will decrease the fat content in the meat by up to 50% without removing the flavor. Do not add your spices and vegetables until after you have rinsed the meat. Substitute chicken broth for butter. This works well for all rice, pasta or stuffing dishes. Remember to spray your casserole dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Sauté in wine or chicken/beef broth instead of oil. This works well for a stir-fry. Remove the oil from your marinade. Instead add something acidic such as fruit juice, nonfat Italian salad dressing or wine. Substitute nonfat cottage cheese for most of the cheese. This works well for the center layers of your pasta dishes, such as lasagna. Substitute mozzarella cheese for cheddar cheese. This change will decrease the fat content by half. Bake your favorite foods that are normally deep-fried. Toss your food into a plastic bag that contains a beaten egg white. Next, roll your pieces into finely ground, seasoned breadcrumbs. Then arrange your pieces in a single layer onto a cooking sheet that has been lightly coated with canola oil (monounsaturated fat) cooking spray. Bake your food at 350 degrees for anywhere from 7 to 40 minutes, depending on what you are oven-frying. Potatoes that have been cut into French fries will take the longest, whereas cheese curds will be done the quickest. Use skim milk instead of whole, 2% or 1%. You may not enjoy drinking skim milk, but in your recipes, you will not notice the difference. You will save 8 grams of fat per cup over whole milk. Use light cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese. You will not sacrifice taste with this substitute, yet you will cut your fat intake Use fat free sour cream instead of regular sour cream. This is an excellent tip for vegetable dips. Use reduced-fat mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Light instead of regular mayonnaise. Fat free mayonnaise and fat free Miracle Whip taste synthetic. Substitute yogurt or pumpkin for oil in your baked goods. This will add nutritional value to your cake, muffins or brownies as well as remove the fat. This substitute does not work well for cookies, as they will become more cake-like. Use 2 egg whites instead of 1 whole egg. This will work for the majority of your recipes. Record your recipe changes. Keep 3x5 index cards in your kitchen. Record your recipe changes while you are cooking, including baking temperature and time. Once your family has tasted the recipe, make comments on the bottom of the card. If the product needs to be revised further, you will have a starting point. Don’t tell everyone that the food is healthy! Resist the urge to brag about your healthy dish. Most people who are told that they are eating something “good for them” will immediately think that the food is bland or not as good as the original.
Jill Fleming, MS, RD is a professional speaker who inspires her audiences to take their health to a new level. Audience members delight in their ability to lose weight and improve their health by following Jill's simple lifestyle choices, THIN CHOICES, after attending her presentation. Jill is also the author of (Thin People Don't Clean Their Plates: Simple Lifestyle Choices for Permanent Weight Loss). Jill lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three children.