Do you start your day with toast, bagels or English muffins? Those harmless breakfast breads quickly become fatty foods when they're slathered with butter and cream cheese. Why not wake up your mouth in the morning with jams, jellies or fresh fruit preserves? If you can't give up the cream cheese, try switching to a low-fat cream version. Or, go upscale and spread some vegetable pate on that morning toast.
It's not just breakfast that you need to watch the unhealthy fats, learn how to avoid them throughout the entire day:
- If you're steering clear of unnecessary oils, make sure to pass on the mayonnaise in your lunchtime sandwich. One tablespoon of the stuff packs 100 calories - all of them from fat.
- It's best to avoid gravy and creamy sauces such as béarnaise, hollandaise, and most white sauces, including alfredo. If you're eating pasta, stick with a tomato-based sauce.
- And, if you're eating salads, make sure your dressing is an equally healthful choice. Try a squirt of lemon or lime juice, or red wine vinegar. You can also use butter milk and low-fat yogurt as an alternative to milk, cream and mayonnaise in creamy dressings. You'd be surprised by how good cottage cheese can taste when it's pureed with herbs and spices.
- When making soups, stews, sautés, and side dishes, use only one teaspoon of oil to sauté veggies rather than the standard two or three. Also, sprinkle with a little salt, use lower heat when sautéing and cover the pan. This will help release the moisture from the vegetables and prevent them from sticking and burning. You can also try spray oils to coat your pan without adding excess oil.
- One painless way to reduce the fat in your diet is to invest in a well-seasoned cast iron pan or the latest non-stick cookware. Non-stick cookware has come a long way since the early days of Teflon™. You can get non-stick saucepans, Dutch ovens and baking pans. Not only can you cook with less oil, but the pans are easier to clean!