Low Fat Diet

Following a low-fat diet, especially a diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fats can reduce your risk for heart disease. Use the following steps to make your diet heart healthy.

1. Know Your Fats

Good Fats
The “good” oils are unsaturated fats that promote heart health. We should be using these oils for cooking and baking. Good fats are generally liquid at room temperature.
  • Monounsaturated – canola, olive and peanut oils (use these fats for cooking). Nuts, seeds and avocados.
  • Polyunsaturated – most vegetable oils (corn, cottonseed, flaxseed, safflower, sesame, soybean and sunflower. Margarines, tub (choose trans fat free versions). Nuts seeds and fish.
Tip: The American Heart Association recommends we eat fish twice a week. Fish, especially fresh salmon, tuna and trout, contain omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health.

Bad Fats
Eating too much of the “bad” fats can raise your blood cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, adults with heart disease, diabetes or high cholesterol should eat no more than 12 to 17 grams of saturated fat per day and should avoid trans fat. To lower the amounts of these in your diet choose leaner meats, low fat dairy products, trans fat free margarines and always read the Nutrition Facts Label.

  • Saturated – animal sources: Fatty meats, chicken skin, butter and lard. Milk, cheese, ice cream, pudding and sour cream. Tropical oils: coconut, palm and palm kernel. Shortening.
  • Trans Fats – many fats used in processed foods, snack foods, stick margarine and vegetable shortening. Read the ingredients list for “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.” (A liquid vegetable oil is changed to a solid fat by a chemical process. This process turns a good fat into a bad fat). We should avoid all foods that contain trans fats.

2. Read the Nutrition Facts Label

The best way to decide if a food is low in fat is to read the Nutrition Facts Label. Nutrition Facts Labels are found on the packaging of most foods.
Tip: Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables do not have a Nutrition Facts Label, but they are naturally low in fat.

What Do I Look At?

  • Serving Size – the fat content is listed for one serving. Be aware of how many servings you are eating.
  • Total Fat – limit to less than 30% of total calorie needs.
  • Saturated Fat – limit to 12 to 17 grams per day.
  • Trans Fat – avoid foods containing this fat.
  • % Daily Value –tells you how much of each nutrient is provided per serving.
Remember This Rule:
5% or less is low. Aim for foods low in total fat, saturated fat and trans fat.
20% or more is high. Avoid foods high in total fat, saturated fat and trans fat.

Example: The % Daily Value for saturated fat is 25%. That means that this food is high in saturated fat. Most of the foods we eat should be low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol (5% or less). Foods high in these fats (20% or more) should be avoided.
Tip: Trans fats do not have a % Daily Value because we shouldn’t eat any. Avoid all foods containing trans fats.

3. Make Lower Fat Choices

  • Type of Food - Breakfast Foods
    Instead of: Donuts and pastries, croissants and bagels with butter, stick margarine or full-fat cream cheese.
    Try: Whole grain cereals, oatmeal and cream of wheat. Whole grain breads, bagels and English muffins with preserves, nut butters, low-fat cream cheese or trans fat free margarines.
  • Type of Food - Dairy Products
    Instead of: Full fat or reduced fat (2%) milk, full fat cheeses and full fat sour cream.
    Try: Fat-free (skim) or low fat (1%) milk, low-fat (part-skim) or fat-free cheeses such as mozzarella, ricotta, string, cottage cheese or any cheese labeled 2% milk cheese, low-fat or fat-free yogurt and sour cream.
  • Type of Food - Oils, Spreads and Dressings
    Instead of: Butter, stick margarine, shortening, lard and regular salad dressing.
    Try: Vegetable oils such as canola, olive, corn, soybean or sunflower. Soft margarines, trans fat free only, low-fat or fat-free salad dressings and mayonnaise, nuts, peanut butter and seeds.
  • Type of Food - Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts
    Instead of: High fat meats such as sausage, ribs, bacon or meat with visible fat or skin. High fat lunch meats such as bologna, salami and hot dogs. Fried meats, poultry and fish. Poultry with the skin. Tuna canned in oil and whole eggs (limit two to four per week).
    Try: Lean cuts of meat with all the visible fat and skin removed including tenderloin, sirloin, skinned chicken or turkey breast. Lean ham and roast beef. Ground beef (drain fat after cooking or buy 90% lean). Roasted or grilled meat, poultry and fish. Lower fat hot dogs, bologna, salami, sausage and bacon (try turkey versions). Fresh fish and canned tuna or salmon in water. Fresh seafood. Egg whites and egg substitutes.
  • Type of Food - Vegetables
    Instead of: French fries or baked potatoes with butter and sour cream. Tossed salad with full-fat dressing and cooked vegetables with butter or high fat sauces.
    Try: Baked potatoes with low-fat or fat-free sour cream, yogurt or salsa. Tossed salads with low fat or fat-free salad dressing. Fresh or steamed vegetables with small amounts of trans fat-free margarines or light sauces.
  • Type of Food - Rice and Pasta
    Instead of: Pasta with butter, alfredo, vodka or cheese sauces and rice with butter or high fat sauces.
    Try: Pasta with tomato sauces and vegetables. Rice with low-fat sauces, vegetables or spice
  • Type of Food - Soups
    Instead of: Cream soups
    Try: Vegetable or broth based soups
  • Type of Food - Desserts
    Instead of: Full-fat cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, ice cream and puddings.
    Try: Lower fat cakes and cookies with fresh fruit and low fat toppings (try substituting applesauce for oil and use fat-free whipped topping for frosting). Low-fat ice cream, sherbet or yogurt layered with fresh fruit and granola. Low-fat or fat-free puddings. Fresh fruit or fruit crisps (made with trans fat free margarine and oatmeal). Meringue cookies.

Fruity Tuna Salad

  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
  • 1 cup grapes, slice in half
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup lemon yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground curry powder
  • Whole grain crackers, pitas or wraps
Directions: In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, onion, lemon juice, and curry powder. Add tuna, grapes, celery and almonds. Mix well until thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until chilled. Serve with crackers, as a pita sandwich or in a wrap.

Serves 6
Nutrition Information: 140 calories, 7g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 19g protein
Source: www.allrecipes.com