Identifying High fat foods
High levels of blood fats can damage your blood vessels. The most infamous
blood fat--cholesterol-- is the one in question. If your cholesterol
level is too high, you need to bring it down by changing your eating and
exercise habits. The simplest rule of thumb is to eat less saturated fat.
(those that are solid at room temperature). If you can't lower your blood fat
level by diet alone, your doctor may prescribe medication to help.
The main strategy for reducing saturated fat is to eat a well-balanced
diet. The American Heart Association suggests that total daily fat intake should
be less than 30 percent of total calories. Specifically, saturated fats should
be only 8 to 10 percent of total calories, polyunsaturated fats should be 10
percent of total calories and monounsaturated fats should be about 15 percent of
total calories. The Food
Guide Pyramid is a useful tool for monitoring daily food intake. There are
also a number of tips that may be helpful, which are described in this article.
Listed below are some high-fat foods:
Coconut oil and palm oil. These "tropical oils" are very high in
Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid purchasing
"junk foods" that use hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, or trans
fats ("trans"). These junk foods include doughnuts and French fries.
Whole fat milk or dairy products (e.g., cheeses). People are
encouraged to gradually switch from whole fat dairy products, to 2 percent,
to 1 percent to skim. There are skim-milk versions of most cheeses available
on the market. Also, non-dairy creamers contain saturated fats and could be
gradually replaced with skim milk.
Fat substitutes. Some fat, particularly essential fatty acids, is
necessary for good health and some fat substitutes have noticeable and
negative side effects. In addition, studies have shown that choosing a lower
calorie fat substitute may actually lead people to consume larger amounts of
a given food.
Fatty side dishes or beverages, especially when eating eggs. Up
to an egg a day is not necessarily unhealthy for non-diabetics, according to
a 1999 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association. Eating
eggs was associated, however, with the intake of other high-risk foods
(e.g., bacon) and beverages (e.g., whole milk).
Fatty sauces (e.g., alfredo sauce) or gravies. Fatty sauces often contain
high-fat cream and butter, and gravies often contain animal fat.
Butter. Butter is high in saturated fat, calories and
cholesterol, but has no nutritional value.
High-fat microwave pizzas, popcorn or other snacks.
Here are some low-fat substitutes for high-fat products :
Fiber. Fiber is filling, but without the calories associated with
Margarines, particularly those that contain minimal trans fats.
Because softer typically means less saturated, the softest margarines are
the most desirable. When baking, one cup of margarine or 2/3 cup of
vegetable oil may be substituted for one cup of butter.
Evaporated skim milk. When cooking or baking, one cup of
evaporated skim milk may be substituted for one cup of heavy cream.
Cocoa powder. When baking, three tablespoons of cocoa powder
dissolved in one tablespoon of vegetable oil may be substituted for one
ounce of unsweetened chocolate.
Ricotta. Part-skim ricotta cheese may be substituted in recipes
that call for cream cheese (e.g., a cheesecake).
Mustard. Use plain or Dijon mustard instead of mayonnaise or other fatty
Yogurt. Non-fat frozen yogurt may be substituted for ice cream,
and is also available without sugar. Furthermore, yogurt can be substituted
for high-fat sour cream when making dips and toppings.
Poultry products. Both traditional (e.g., chicken and turkey) and
non-traditional (e.g., emu or ostrich) poultry are lower-fat,
lower-cholesterol alternatives to beef. Seafood is also a healthy substitute
for fatty red meat, but only if it is not drowned in cocktail sauce, butter
and so forth.
No-salt seasonings. Fat is not necessary for flavor. No-salt
seasonings such as dill or basil can add flavor without fat. Garlic has also
been shown to be helpful to heart health.
Egg whites. Either 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup of cholesterol-free
egg substitute can be used instead of a whole egg.
Fruit and angel cake. A
fresh fruit salad, with or without angel cake, can be substituted as a sweet
dessert instead of high-fat desserts.
But be careful. Although reducing dietary fat is important, eliminating
all fat from your diet is not at all healthy. Fat is an essential nutrient
that produces energy for daily activities and supplies the body with vitamins A,
D and E, which are needed for healthy skin and optimal growth. The body cannot
produce fat on its own; it must be provided through dietary intake. For these
reasons you should enjoy some fats in your diet, especially monounsaturated fats
like olive oil. The key is moderation--not elimination.
For an exhaustive list of Low-Calorie, Lower-Fat Alternative Foods
Log on to
http://www.womenfitness.net/programs/wtmngmnt/contents.htm to learn about
Healthy Choices While Eating Out, Words to be watched in a restaurant & words
indicating low Fat Choices. These tips will help you in better Management of
Your Daily Fat Intake