Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Skinny On Fat

     Fat.  The dreaded word we all hate to hear. After years of being told to limit fat in your diet, choose low-fat or fat-free options, and burn off additional fat on the treadmill, it is no wonder we are so afraid of it!  Rather we are talking about the fat in our food or the fat on our bodies it is easy to wish fat didn't exist at all. But the truth is you need some fat in your diet for good health. 

    Fat supplies energy to fuel your body and carries vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Compared to carbohydrates and protein, fat is digested more slowly and may help you feel full longer after eating.   The amount of fat you should eat depends on the amount of calories you consume, usually 20-35% of your total calorie intake.  Sound confusing?  Try choosing low-fat foods more often and if you occasionally have a day when you eat more fat than you should, you can make up for it by eating less fat in the days the follow.

Tips for cooking with less fat:

  Trim the extra fat from meats.  
  Choose lean or extra lean meats and drain the fat when cooking.
 Go skinless.  
  Cutting the skin off of poultry can cut your calories from fat in half!
 Enjoy vegetables without the extra toppings.  
  Simmer, steam, or microwave fresh and frozen  vegetables.  When stir-frying use fat-free      broth,wine, or vegetable oil spray instead of oil. 
 Use a light hand when scooping dips, dressings, sauces, and spreads.  
  Go easy on these high-fat  extras. 
 Stretch higher-fat ingredients.  
  Grate cheese so less looks like more.  In homemade muffins and  cakes, use fewer nuts and chocolate chips or replace them with dried fruits. 
 Lose fat, not flavor.  
  As you reduce fat, give your food a boost of flavor by using herbs, salsas, or  seasonings. 

Portion Size Guide:
One easy way to eat less fat is cutting your portion sizes.

A portion of 1 cup of milk is about the size of a baseball
A portion 2 ounces of cheese is about the size of a 4 dominoes
A portion of 2 to 3 ounces of meat is about the size of a deck of cards
A portion of 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is about the size of a ping-pong ball
A portion of ½ cup of tofu is about the size of a bar of soap
A portion of ½ cup nuts is about the size of a large egg
A portion of 1 tablespoon regular salad dressing or light mayo is about the size of 2 casino chips
A portion of 1 teaspoon butter or margarine is about the size of the tip of a thumb
A portion of 2 tablespoons light salad dressing is about the size of a ping-pong ball

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