Cutting down on fat doesn’t have to mean giving up your favourite foods. Healthy, fat free eating is not as hard as you think. The trick is to avoid ‘hidden’ fats in processed or convenience foods and find new ways to cook those recipes you love.

Here are some tips to help you cut down on fat.
  1. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and legumes. These foods are fat free, high in fibre and packed with vitamins and minerals.

  2. Opt for low-fat snacks. A healthy option is fresh fruit. Most cakes, biscuits and pastries contain a great deal of fat.

  3. Try new ways to cook ‘fat free’. Steam, bake, grill, braise, boil or microwave your foods instead of sauteing or deep-frying.

  4. Use oil or butter sparingly. Buy non-stick cookware, grease pans with cooking spray and apply oil or butter directly to the food with a pastry brush instead of adding it to the pan.

  5. Cook in liquid instead of oil. Depending on the recipe, you could use chicken or beef stock, red or white wine, lemon juice, fruit juice, vinegar or even plain water.

  6. Limit meals that feature creamy sauces. Explore tasty low-fat alternatives such as pesto, salsa, chutneys and tomato-based sauces.

  7. Choose low-fat dairy products. Depending on the recipe, you could use reduced-fat cream, low-fat yoghurt or evaporated skim milk.

  8. Switch to low-fat products. Check the food labels at the supermarket to make sure you’re buying the reduced-fat product.

  9. Reduce your intake of meat fats. For example, trim visible fat from red meats, remove chicken skin and limit fatty processed meats such as sausages and salami.

  10. Eat takeaway foods only occasionally. When possible, choose low-fat takeaway options such as a salad roll instead of, for example, hot chips and a burger.

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel

Last updated: October 2012

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