Fat serves as an essential macronutrient in your body that assists in the absorption of vitamins. It also plays an important role in blood clotting, brain development, and managing inflammation. However, the majority of people following a Western Diet are consuming too much fat causing such problems as obesity, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disorders.
The first step you should take in lowering fat in your diet is to avoid saturated and trans fats as much as possible. These fats are found in butter, shortening, partially hydrogenated oils, margarine, and fat from meat. Instead, the fats in your diet should consist of unsaturated fats such as the fat found in nuts, avocados, and oils from vegetable sources.
The majority of your diet should be focused on low-fat foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, and whole grains. Lean protein sources include tofu, tempeh (fermented soybean product), and beans. Free-range, low-fat beef, turkey, pork, or chicken are also good options as long as they are consumed in moderation. Low-fat dairy products are an option, although there are plenty of non-dairy, healthier options available such as organic, sugar-free almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk.
Processed foods are one of the leading culprits of high-fat dietary habits. In general, processed foods are unhealthy and should be avoided if you want to maintain optimum health. Processed foods include lunch meats, frozen fish sticks, frozen dinners, breads made with white flour, canned foods, packaged cookies, boxed meal mixes, and sugary breakfast cereals. Most conventional grocery store aisles are chock full of processed food items, but you may find alternatives with a little perseverance. Health food stores offer alternatives, including canned foods and frozen meals that are made with whole food ingredients and that are not loaded with saturated fat and other additives.
When cooking, use methods such as broiling, steaming, boiling, grilling and roasting as opposed to frying. These cooking alternatives do not require much, if any, oil or butter. Following other dietary habits such ordering your coffee without milk or with fat-free milk or soy milk will reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
Be aware that soups and salads aren't always low in fat. Choose clear broth soups instead of creamy soups. Choose non-creamy salad dressings or, better yet, make your own homemade salad dressing using ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, a small amount of olive oil, Bragg's liquid aminos (for a salty flavour), and herbs. With a little creativity, you will find that your new and healthier way of eating does not have to diminish your enjoyment of food.