Easy Ways to Trim Down the Fat
Fat provides twice as many calories as
carbohydrates. The most effective way of cutting the
calories in your diet is therefore
simple. It is to use low-fat ingredients, such as white fish and chicken, and
low-fat alternatives wherever possible, such as reduced-fat cheese and skimmed
One easy option to
down fat in your meal would be to fill your
shopping basket with fat- and calorie-controlled ready
meals, or meal components
like sauces, light yogurts and lower fat processed foods. By doing this, you may
be able to count every gram of
fat and every calorie.
Here are some easy rules you can apply to your everyday routine:
Invest in a good, heavy-based nonstick pan and remember that oil expands once
it gets hot, so when you're softening onions or vegetables you don't actually
need as much oil as you might think. Use a vegetable or olive oil non-stick
cooking spray for dishes that require light frying.
Start with low-fat ingredients - white fish, shellfish, chicken and lean meat
are all good choices.
low-fat cooking techniques such as poaching, braising, steaming, roasting,
grilling or stir-frying.
Marinades are a good way of adding extra flavour without fat.
Don't be afraid to use strongly flavoured high-fat foods such as cheese and
bacon; you only need to use small quantities to add a lot of flavour.
To add flavour to dishes; use plenty of fresh
your cooking. Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving can also
give your food a real lift.
Always choose lean meat and trim away any visible fat before cooking. Remove
the skin from poultry before eating.
Bulk out savoury dishes by adding plenty of vegetables; they're low in
calories and high in
reduced-fat alternatives such as reduced-fat cheese, skimmed milk, and
low-fat yogurts where available.
To make a reduced-fat white sauce, blend 15ml/1 tbsp cornflour with 30ml/ 2
tbsp cold water, and whisk the mixture into 300ml/ 1/2 pint/ 1 1/4 cups skimmed
milk. Bring this to the boil and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute.
Beware of high-fat salad dressings - 15ml/ 1 tbsp French dressing contains 97
calories and almost 11g fat, so use them in moderation.
To make gravies and sauces creamy, add a little low-fat or Greek yogurt or fromage frais rather than cream. Stir in at the end of cooking to prevent
Use cheese with a particularly strong flavour, such as a mature cheddar,
Parmesan or stilton for making sauces or for garnishing and you will be able to
use less. Adding a little mustard will also enhance the flavour.
To reduce the fat in baked goods, such as muffins and cakes, replace half the
fat with an equal quantity of something fruity, such as prune puree or apple
Go for fruit-based
and serve with a fruit caulis or pureed
fruit, rather than cream
Dated 22 August 2013