8 Ways to Reduce Fat in Your Diet
As much as Dr. Lori and I talk about how delicious fresh foods are and how fat does not flavor foods, fresh herbs and spices do, people’s perception of healthy foods is that they are flavorless and boring. Wrong!
Here are 8 simple ways to reduce fat in your diet without sacrificing flavor:
- Choose leaner cuts of meat proteins – remember what I said above? Contrary to popular belief, fat does not flavor foods. Herbs, spices like cumin, cayenne, and even simple black pepper do. When choosing beef and pork, select the tenderloin as opposed to ribeye, t-bone and pork belly.
- Trim the fat from meat proteins – when you do purchase a beef or pork roast, for example, there is always a tremendous amount of fat layered on the outside. Take a boning knife and trim off that huge layer of fat. Then, give a nice spice blend coating on the meat to give it delicious flavor and throw in a few fresh herbs like whole rosemary and thyme while roasting. Best of all, the spices not only add flavor but they act as an anti-inflammatory and add other valuable health properties to your diet.
- Skip the deep fryer – broiled, baked, and grilled foods have more flavor because you can actually taste what you are eating. Leave deep fried food options for that rare, once-a-year occasion. Once you’ve stayed away from fried foods for awhile, chances are you won’t even like them once a year.
- Keep portion control in mind – bacon is a hugely popular food item, for example. If you absolutely must have bacon, or any fatty food, keep the portion to 2 ounces or less and skip going back for seconds.
- Add beans and legumes – At least once or twice a week, replace your usual meat protein with high protein beans or legumes. A black bean salad with fresh salsa is super delicious, provides protein as well as fiber and other essential nutrients. Variety is the spice of life, yes?!
- Choose lower fat cheeses – “Hard” cheeses are lower in fat than the creamy, soft ones. Opt for parmesan cheese or a little crumbled feta. Skip the brie and cheddar.
- Fall in love with greek yogurt – greek yogurt is the perfect substitute for sour cream and even cream cheese. Some brands are thicker than others so if it is cream cheese you are looking to sub, find a brand that is really thick. Greek yogurt is not only delicious, it contains probiotics that promote a healthy digestive tract.
- Cut back on oil – Even too much of healthy oils is not your best option for optimal health. When cooking, cut back on the amount of oil used in the average recipe by 1/2. A little goes a long way. And, pre-heat the oil in the saucepan before adding foods. Once heated, the oil will naturally spread out. Tilt the pan a little to help evenly coat the pan and then add your foods. In salad dressings, make simple homemade vinaigrettes, like the recipe below. Make them separately and then portion out the amount used for your salad, toss with fresh grilled vegetables, drizzle a 1/2 tablespoon of vinaigrette over cooked quinoa, for example. Store unused vinaigrette in a container with lid for a week.
Once you begin to cut back on the amount of fat in your diet, your tastebuds will change and you will find you no longer crave high fat foods. Make your new motto, “fresh is best” and re-train your palate to enjoy the fresh flavors of foods.
Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of sea salt
2 pinches of black pepper
1 pinch blackened seasoning (optional)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, lemon, salt, pepper, and blackened seasoning. Whisk in olive oil. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 tablespoon on fresh greens, fresh steamed or grilled vegetables, or on grain or bean salads like quinoa, barley or black beans.
Sending you gourmet wishes and flattering waistlines,
Susan Irby, The Bikini Chef
Susan Irby The Bikini Chef is an award-winning TV and radio host on Talk Radio 790 KABC and 8-time best selling cookbook author. Listen to her show, The Bikini Lifestyles Show, on Talk Radio 790 KABC weekly, Saturdays 7pm PT and online at iHeartRadio and KABC.com.
A big, special thank you to my friend, Dr. Lori Shemek, for inviting me to share this information with you. Dr. Lori and I share the same passion to help others in their journey towards a long, healthy, happy life. We believe in YOU!