According to the Institute of Medicine’s Guidelines, only
20-30 percent of our daily calories should come from fat.
Preparing meals at home helps to keep a close watch over
the calories and eliminate unhealthy fats. However, don’t
go overboard because some fats (unsaturated) are good for
Most people love cheese, but it is chock-full of fat and
when you choose the low fat varieties of cheddar for
example, you get a rubbery, salty mess that doesn’t taste
anything like the cheese you know and love. Why not opt for
cheeses that are naturally low in fat content. For example,
feta and goat’s cheese are good for salads, sandwiches and
dishes that list cheese as an ingredient. Because of the
pungent flavor of feta and goat’s cheese, you also end up
using a lesser quantity of cheese in anything you prepare.
Other options include low fat cottage cheese or ricotta
cheese for lasagna and other baked dishes.
Broiling, roasting and grilling are some of the healthier
methods for cooking meats as opposed to frying meat. Cooking
methods like deep frying, pan frying and braising are all
to be avoided. You should also avoid the fattier cuts of
meat. Fish can be grilled or broiled and will taste just
as good with some lemon juice and a few other spices. Choose
lean steaks like flank or round for steak dinners and
marinade the meat in a mix of garlic, lemon juice and soy
sauce. This will help to tenderize the meat and flavor it
without the need for fat rich marinades. Always take the
time to trim as much fat as possible from the meat and remove
all the skin from chicken before cooking.
You can reduce the quantity of meat especially ground meat
in recipes with beans. Black eyed beans and pinto beans are
very healthy and have a low fat content. You can use a mix
of boiled beans and ground meat for burgers, meatloaf and
chili preparations. Add the spices and chopped bell peppers
and the burger will be just as tasty.
There is no rule that says all frying has to be done with
lard or butter. You can use broth quite effectively to
reduce the cholesterol and fat levels in the cooking. Cook
vegetables in broth and add broth instead of butter to
mashed potatoes. You can also keep some of the water you
boiled them in to moisten them for mashing.
Healthy cooking takes a bit of effort initially, but very
soon becomes a part of your regular cooking methods.