Health and Nutrition
Easy Way to Slash Fats
in Our Food Some fat is essential in our diet, and not only because it contributes flavour, aroma, and texture to our food. Fat is the most concentrated Source of food energy (calories), with one gram of fate providing 9 calories (compared to 4 calories per gram of either carbohydrate or protein.) Fat also help your body to absorb the so-called “fat-soluble vitamins” including ADC. The essential fatty acids that our bodies need in small amounts.
Fat are mixtures of three kinds of fatty acids- saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The difference is in their chemical make-up: A fat that contains a lot of saturated fatty acids is usually firm like butter or lard, Saturated fats are also found in red meats (beef, lamb pork ), in dairy products like whole milk, cream, cheese, ghee and butter and in some vegetable oils like coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel.
Unsaturated fats are two types polyunsaturated fats, found in oil such as corn, sunflower, safflower and soybean. And monosaturated fats found in groundnut oil, olive oil, and foods like nuts, avocados and oily fish such as mackerel and herring.
Most of us eat too much fat. Your strategy should be to cut down the total amount of fats you eat, and when you do eat fats, choose those high in the unsaturates. A diet with 30 per cent or less of calories from total fat (and less than 10 per cent of calories from saturated fat) would be healthier. Here are easy ways to cut fat, in the kitchen, at the dining table, at the grocer’s when eating out.
- Switching from whole to skim milk can save you a load of fat, but it’s a taste you’ll need to adjust to gradually. Start off with a mix of whole and skim milk, and then gradually increase the proportion of skim to whole milk.
- Opt for cheeses that have less fat. Cottage cheese has about the lowest amount of fat among cheeses are Cheddar and Camembert.
- Chocolate is high is saturated fat, and the darker and more bitter the bar, the more fat is contains. Thus milk chocolate has more fat than bittersweet.
- In most (though not all) conventional recipes, two egg whites can replace one egg.
- You don’t have to eliminate red meat, or any meat for that matter from your diet. Lean trimmed beef is low in fat and supplies important amounts of minerals such as iron and zinc.
- Modify recipes so you use smaller amounts and leaner cuts of meat and more of other ingredients like potatoes, rice, noodles, grains or vegetables.
- To reduce the amount the oil you use in frying, get the pan and oil very hot before adding the food. The hotter the oil, the shorter the cooking time and the less fat absorbed by the food.
- De-fat chicken stock before using it as a gravy base. (Easiest way: let the stock cool after cooking, strain to remove bones and vegetables, chill in refrigerator, then skim the fat)
- When stir-frying, substitute one tablespoon of oil with one teaspoon of oil combined with a rich–tasting but de-fatted broth. You’ll get a potent flavour and spare yourself a wok-load of fat calories.
- Grill cook more than those barbecue staples- steaks and frankfurters. They can add that special smoky richness to fish, vegetables and fruits—with a minimum of fat. Cool meat stews and soups before serving so you can skim fat off the top.
- Bake fish rather than deep- frying it in batter. Fried fish fillets are about 65 percent fat; the same fish baked contains less than half that much fat .
- Don’t forget that most nuts and seeds derive between 70 to 95 percent of their calories from fat (the sole exception is the low-fat-chestnut).
- Try baking or steaming, rather than frying or deep-frying, brinjal; this vegetable in particular absorbs oil like a sponge.
- Eat at home as far as possible. It’s easier to make low fat choices in your own kitchen then at restaurants, fast-food outlets or sit down dinners.