Simple Ways to Reduce Your Fat Intake
By Maria England, NDTR, ABS Team Member
Fat is an essential part of our diet, but often times we consume too much fat. Fat is a common ingredient in recipes, especially baking recipes. However, it is easy to reduce our fat intake, and eat healthier fats by making small changes!
It is recommended that 20-35% of our total calories should come from fat. We need fat for important functions in our body, as well as the fat-soluble vitamins that certain fats contain. It also helps us to feel fuller especially since it contains more calories than any other nutrients, with 9 calories per gram of fat, compared to protein and carbohydrates, which are 4 calories per gram. This means we need to consume smaller amounts of fat to reach the recommended amount.
The good thing about fat is that there are easy ways to reduce how much fat we are eating, and when we do eat fat, we can eat healthier options. One of the easiest ways to reduce fat in our diet is through our dairy products. Whole milk contains about 8g of fat per cup, but if we switch to low fat milk, which has about 2.4g of fat per cup, we reduce our fat intake immediately. We can even pick skim/nonfat milk instead, which only contains 0.2g of fat. Sometimes it is difficult to switch to lower fat milk since we are use to the taste, but a great way to switch is to buy a lower percentage of fat content milk each week, so we can adjust to the taste. Another way to reduce fat in dairy products is by buying nonfat and low fat dairy products, such as nonfat yogurt and low fat cheese. These small changes will help you reduce how much fat you are consuming but still enjoy your favorite foods!
Fat is a common ingredient in baking, because it helps to bring tenderness to baked goods. When baking there are ways to reduce or even replace fats, and still have tender products! One of the best examples is replacing melted butters and oils with pureed pumpkin, bananas, or unsweetened applesauce. If you are watching how much sugar you are eating as well, then choose pumpkin because it does not contain as much natural sugar as bananas and applesauce. You can also substitute whole milk for skim milk, and replace heavy cream with yogurt. Substituting melted butter and oil in recipes with these easy switches and replacing your dairy products with lower fat options will greatly decrease the fat content of the baked goods!
ABS Pancakes are actually low in fat and contain only 2-5g of fat per serving. We also recommend using egg whites instead of whole eggs, because egg yolks contain fat in eggs. Starting your day off with a small amount of fat, plus high protein will help you feel fuller longer and reduce snacking between meals!
Consuming fat is an important part of any diet, but it is important to choose lower fat food products and to eat them throughout the day instead of at one meal. One of the best ways to know how much fat is in food is by reading the nutrition label and comparing products! This will help you decide which is the healthier choice.