LOW FAT, GREAT TASTE
52 delicious ways to cut the fat and save the flavor -- recipes, meal makeovers, tips and
Removing the skin from chicken reduces the fat substantially. Problem is, skinned
chicken has a nasty habit of turning tough and dry when you cook it. A coating of
low-fat yogurt and a few spices, however, can work wonders.
Beans are a terrific protein source but have considerably less fat than red meat. And
fruit salsas pack a flavorful punch with little to no fat.
9 Tried-and-True Tips to Cut the Fat:
* Cream soups with pureed cooked potato, not cream.
* Prepare stuffing (homemade or packaged) with broth or applesauce instead of some or
even all of the fat.
* Reduce the serving size without making it look like less: Pound meats and chicken
breasts or buy thin cutlets.
* Combine meats if you can. Use half ground turkey, half ground beef in meat loaf and
* When browning meat for stew and pot roast, use a nonstick pan and only 1 teaspoon
oil. If you don't have a nonstick pan, spray pan lightly with cooking spray and heat, then
add 1 teaspoon oil.
* Cut back on the amount of Cheddar cheese a recipe calls for, and add a bit of Parmesan
for flavor. Or take advantage of the fuller flavor of sharp Cheddar, but use a smaller
amount than you would a mild Cheddar.
* Replace half the mayonnaise in creamy dressings and dips with plain low-fat or nonfat
yogurt. Add herbs, mustard, horseradish or salsa to boost the flavor.
* You may be able to substitute cocoa, which is fairly low in fat, for chocolate in some
cakes and cookies. Add more liquid, if necessary, to make the food moist.
* Cut back on the nuts and chocolate in cakes and cookies.
If you know where to look, you can even indulge in all sorts of sweets without
feeling guilty about the fat:
This This much
Angel food 1/2 of 0 gm
cake a cake
Gingersnaps 2 1 gm
Cracker Jacks 1 box 3 gm
Chocolate syrup 2 Tbsp 0 gm
Butterscotch 5 1 gm
After 8 Mints 2 1.1 gm
Banana 1 0 gm
THE LOW-FAT PANTRY
Until they invent a low-fat potato chip that tastes like something other than stale
cardboard, you're going to have to look elsewhere for low-fat foods. It's not like hunting
down the Holy Grail, however, and there are plenty of smart choices -- and even a few
surprises -- out there.
Pasta (but watch the sauces)
Pickles and pickled vegetables
Tortilla chips (but only the baked variety)
Regular strip bacon has as much as eight times the fat of Canadian bacon, which is a
bit more expensive but certainly worth it. You don't have to deep-fry something to get a
crispy coating. Bake it instead, but do so on a rack.
It's Easier than You Think
Don't be afraid of convenience foods, just prepare them using low-fat products. For
packaged macaroni and cheese, for example, use skim milk and cut down the amount of
fat called for.
Low fat doesn't have to mean less food -- quite to the contrary, it often means more.
For the sake of comparison, we asked a group of registered dieticians to show us just
what you get for your fat:
1 croissant = 10 bagels
1/4-pound fast-food cheeseburger = 3 fast-food grilled-chicken sandwiches
1 cup premium vanilla ice cream = 28 ounces of large jelly beans
The Good News...
There's never been a better time to cut back on fat. Manufacturers are flooding
supermarkets with low-fat or nonfat versions of their products, and at last you can
actually believe the claims they make on the packages. With a little ingenuity, you can
use their reduced-fat products to replace most of the fat-laden ones you're accustomed
to. Do it gradually and your family might not even notice. And incidentally, studies
have shown that the more fat you eat, the more you crave. If you can cut back on fat and
stick to it, eventually you may not even miss it.
...And the Bad
Fat lurks in strange places. Who would have thought that a harmless little avocado
could have as much fat as six Twinkies? Or that a carob bar, which sounds so sensible, is
dripping with 28 grams of the stuff? When you shop -- and especially when you snack --
be on the lookout for these high-fat surprises:
This much This much fat
Part-skim 1 oz 5 to 7
Microwave 3 cups 11
Seeds (sesame, 1 oz 14
Granola 1/2 cup 8 to 1
Before you dive into that cheese Danish, consider that a bagel with an ounce of light
cream cheese will save you roughly 10 grams of fat. Use your head and you can almost
always find a better way:
Buttered, oil-popped Air-popped popcorn SAVES 12
popcorn (2 cups) vs. (5 1/2 cups) GRAMS OF FAT
Potato chips Pretzels SAVES 17
(2 ounces) vs. (2 3/4 ounces) GRAMS OF FAT
Apple pie with Baked apple a la SAVES 23
4 oz ice cream vs. mode (1 lg apple GRAMS OF FAT
(1/8 of a pie) baked with 1 tsp
sugar and topped
with 4 oz low-fat
Peanut butter Apple butter SAVES 16
(2 tablespoons) vs. (2 tablespoons) GRAMS OF FAT
Prepared with the assistance of Lynne Hill, Hill Nutrition Associates, Inc., Stuart,
Florida; Jennifer Stack, senior nutritionist at NYU Medical Center, New York City;
Elizabeth Ward, Boston-based spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association