It was once believed that people got fat from eating fat. That myth has been mostly dispelled over the years and now people are beginning to learn more about nutrition and various ways to become healthier. However, there was also some truth to this myth. You don’t necessarily become overweight by eating foods high in fat. You gain weight due to excess calories. But most foods that have a high fat percentage are also high in calories. Each gram of fat contains nine calories, whereas a gram of carbohydrates or protein only contains four calories. Therefore, some high fat foods can also make you gain weight.
The good news is it is possible to replace many high fat products with low fat alternatives. This can be done without dramatically changing your diet or sacrificing your favorite foods. Maintaining a healthy weight begins with education. By looking at all the different high fat foods you eat, you can begin to learn how to replace them and create a healthier diet plan.
Dairy products can be very healthy, but they can also be loaded with fat. Ice-cream can be a good source of calcium if you choose wisely. Look for a natural ice-cream or frozen yogurt. Even some low fat ice-creams can have artificial ingredients that aren’t healthy. Read nutrition labels and choose one that appeals to you. You could even make your own ice-cream using low fat milk. If you drink whole milk, you can try 2 percent or skim instead. If you don’t think you can handle such a drastic change all at once, try mixing low fat with whole milk and reduce your whole milk consumption slowly. Instead of cream in your coffee, replace it with milk or low fat cream.
Cheese is another product that has a high fat content. You can find low fat alternatives for most cheese varieties and you may not even notice the difference. Surprisingly, yogurt can also be a source of fat and sugar. Instead of the popular varieties you see advertised, try greek yogurt. You can mix in fruit, honey or nuts for flavor.
Most grains are relatively low fat. It’s the spreads that you have to worry about. Switch out high fat butter for a lower fat variety. You could also try honey, hummus or organic jam. Bagels, donuts and muffins are a few grains that are higher in fat and calories. Pay attention to nutrition facts and look for whole wheat products. If you make the breads yourself, there are many options available that are much healthier than what you buy in the store. Search for healthier, low-fat recipes to make muffins and other sweet breads.
The protein food group is probably the biggest source of fat in your diet. Unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, much of your protein comes from meat. Try eliminating or reducing red meat and opt for white instead. Meat such as salmon, haddock and chicken are usually lower in fat than steak or pork. Instead of hamburgers, try making turkey burgers with lean meat. Fat is also added when you fry foods, so limit the amount of fried food you eat. Remove as much grease as you can from the meat. This will save you a lot of unnecessary fat. If you think it’s the right choice for you, you could also go the vegetarian route. But first, be sure to speak with your doctor to find out if this is a healthy option.
Nuts and seeds are another source of protein. However, this fat is good for you. There is really no such thing as low fat nuts, but that’s okay. You need a certain amount of fat to stay healthy. Instead of low-fat peanut butter, search for natural peanut butter to eliminate unhealthy preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Don’t try to get rid of all fat in your diet because this can be very dangerous and lead to eating disorders and other nutrient deficiencies.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eaten naturally, fruit and vegetables are great for you. They have antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They can be a source of added fat when you add unhealthy ingredients to them. Avoid cooking vegetables in butter and other high-fat sauces. Use natural seasonings such as pepper, cinnamon, or even a few nuts. If you have a salad, try low fat salad dressing. Instead of buying fruit dip at the store, make your own yogurt dip. You can even use a tablespoon or two of peanut butter. Portion out the amount to limit the fat.
If you’re trying to limit your fat, you don’t have to quit eating your favorite deserts. Instead of a whole candy bar, have a square or two of dark chocolate. Mix a few chocolate chips into your yogurt. Use a little Nutella on your toast. In dessert recipes, you can often replace oil with applesauce. Dried fruit can also be a cure for your sweet tooth.
It’s important to remember that fat in your diet is necessary. Learning what kinds of fat you should be eating is important if you want a healthy diet. Fat from nuts, seeds and fish is a great way to get the healthy fats. Try to avoid the fats from meat, sweets and sauces. By taking the time to learn about how to keep your diet nutritionally balanced, you can decrease you fat consumption and become healthier.