by Taji Mortazavi
Homemade salad dressings not only taste better, but are better for you! Most recipes call for way too much oil. You can easily replace up to half the oil content in a dressing with a mixture of water and vinegar/lemon juice.
You might think there aren’t many ways to reduce the fat content in food and that you’ll have to give up some of your favorite fattening foods. With a little creativity however, you can still enjoy these gluttonous dishes. All it takes is making a few mindful substitutions and you’ll hardly notice the difference between these variations and your traditional recipes. Try these seven ways to reduce the fat content in food.
1. CHOOSE LEANER CUTS OF MEAT
One of the easiest ways to reduce the fat content in food is choosing a leaner cut of meat. Do you really need to make those tacos with ground beef? Could you substitute with lean ground turkey instead? Choosing leaner cuts of meat can easily slash hundreds of saturated fat calories that will only contribute to heart disease and weight gain. If you’re worried these cuts will be too dry, try buying items like chicken breasts with the bone still in to maintain moisture and flavor.
2. BAKE INSTEAD OF FRYING
Frying is one of the top reasons your food has a ton of fat in it. There are many cooking methods that use far less oil and fat. Baking is a great substitute for frying, as are roasting, grilling, and steaming. Low-fat cooking techniques can definitely reduce the fat content of some of your favorite dishes.
3. PICK REDUCED-FAT CHEESES OR CHEESE ALTERNATIVES
If you think you can’t eat lasagna or stuffed shells anymore, think again. Using reduced or low-fat dairy products is a great solution to high-fat dishes that require a lot of cream of cheese. You can also substitute milk for heavy whipping cream if a recipe calls for it!
4. GO MEATLESS
Another great way to lower the fat content of your dishes is to skip the meat all together! Vegetarian and vegan dishes often have much less saturated fat than their meat counterparts. It’s as simple as grilling a veggie burger instead of a beef burger or throwing in loads of mushrooms and peppers into your tomato sauce instead of meatballs. There are a ton of food blogs and sites devoted to vegetarian recipes. A 20 minute cruise through Pinterest and you’ll have dozens of recipe ideas.
5. MEASURE OUT OILS AND FATS
You might think you’re only using a drizzle of oil when you make dinner each night but studies show that most people tend to over-pour fats and other oils. In other words, they might think they’re only using a tablespoon but they could be using double or triple that amount! Get into a habit of measuring cooking oils and fats. I like to use oils like coconut or red palm that are solid at room temperature. This really forces you to use a spoon and be more mindful of how much oil you’re using for a dish.
6. ADD A LITTLE WATER TO YOUR HOMEMADE SALAD DRESSING
If you’re like me, you love homemade salad dressings. Homemade salad dressings not only taste better, but are better for you! Most recipes call for way too much oil. You can easily replace up to half the oil content in a dressing with a mixture of water and vinegar/lemon juice. Doing so can easily cut the calories of your dressing by 50%.
7. PUREE VEGGIE SOUPS FOR ALL THE FLAVOR WITHOUT THE FAT
Sometimes after a long day at work, all you want to do is come home and enjoy a sumptuous meal without worrying about its calorie or fat content. Pureed vegetable soups are the perfect solution for days like this! There are many recipes that don’t use any cream or added fat. Simply pureeing the soup creates a warm and comforting texture that tastes super creamy. If you’re pressed for time, try making pureed soups on the weekend, then freezing individual portions to eat throughout the week.
Read more in All Women Stalk
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.