FAT BUSTERS--104 TRIED AND TRUE TIPS By Colby Grimes
Still counting calories but not losing weight? Try counting fat instead. One gram of
fat contains a whopping 9 calories, compared to only 4 in a gram of protein or
carbohydrate. What's more, an Indiana University study found that thin people actually
consumed the same number of calories as the obese, but ate more fiber, less sugar and
less fat than heavy people did. To reduce the fat you consume without sacrificing taste,
try the following:
Make Smart, Planned Purchases
* Be a fat-finder. With the new nutrition labeling, there's no excuse for not reducing
your daily fat intake to under 30 percent of total calories.
* Don't be fooled by labels that say no cholesterol. Foods could still be filled with
* Stay away frompremium ice creams, which load in more fat.
* Pass up frozen vegetables packed with cheese sauces that can add an extra 7 grams of fat
* Buytuna packed in water, rather than oil, and save 8 grams of fat per 6-ounce can.
* Choose leaner cuts of meat (like tenderloin, top round or flank steak) instead of fatty,
marbled varieties (like ribroast, T-bone and ground chuck).
* Avoid grocery-shopping when you're hungry. You'll be more easily tempted to make
* Fill your supermarket cart with fresh produce and other healthful foods before youhit
the middle aisles where high-fat, processed foods lurk.
* Don't unpack snack foods and desserts on an empty stomach.
* Eat a piece of fruit or a few raw vegetables before you cook. A hungry chef is more
likely to nibble.
* Chew sugarless gum in the kitchen, so you won't be tempted to overtaste or snack.
* Use nonstick vegetable cooking spray instead of butter and oils. Experiment with new
varieties (such as garlic and olive oil) for added flavor.
* Use a nonstick skillet to reduce the need for fat.
* Substitute low-fat or skim milk for the cream in rich dishes like quiche, cream soups
*Thicken sauces, gravies, stews and soups with pureed vegetables. Try cooked winter
squash, potatoes, dried beans and peas, carrots and cauliflower.
* Trim fat from meat before cooking. Use kitchen scissors to snip stubborn fat from raw
* Refrigerate homemade soups and stews for a few hours so fat rises to the top and can
be easily skimmed off. Reheat and serve.
*Drain fat from cooked ground beef before adding it to recipes.
* Use a double meat-loaf pan with a perforated inset that allows fat to drip into an outer
* Substitute olive oil for half the butter in recipes to reduce saturated fat by about 40
percent. But don't try this in baking.
* Add a fat-free kick of flavor to vegetables with horseradish, Worcestershire or Tabasco
* Bake fish and poultry in wine instead of cooking with oil.
* Season vegetables with herbs and spices in place of rich sauces, butter, margarine or
* Experiment with cooking techniques like grilling, poaching, steaming and stir-fry. All
require very little fat or a low-fat marinade.
* Use a small amount of chicken broth with a pinch of garlic powder as a substitute for
oil or butter when sauteeing chicken and vegetables.
* Blot the fat from baked and broiled meats with a paper towel before serving.
* Make your own fat-free salad dressings with herb vinegars, lemon juice, nonfat yogurt
or tomato juice. Add garlic and herbs to taste.
*Limit the courses and dishes in each meal. Chances are that the simpler the menu, the
less you're likely to eat.
* Tenderize lean cuts of meat by marinating in such acid-based liquids as vinegar, citrus
juice, tomato juice or wine instead of butter or oil.
* Add crunch to salads by tossing in chopped celery instead of croutons.
* Prepare and freeze low-fat dishes in meal-size portions; thaw one at a time to prevent
* Reduce the number of fat-filled egg yolks in baked goods. Two egg whites can be
substituted for one whole egg.
* Halve the amount of high-fat extras--nuts, chocolate and butterscotch chips,
* Replace high-fat nuts with crunchy nugget-type cereal in batter, dough and
* Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray instead of greasing with fat.
* Serve cakes topped with fruit instead of fattening frosting.
* Use applesauce in place of some of the oil or margarine in muffins, stuffing and
* Top a baked potato with nonfat yogurt, fat-free sour cream, mustard or salsa instead of
* Use Butter Buds Sprinkles on air-popped popcorn. It's just as tasty as buttered popcorn
but has about 11 fewer grams of fat per cup.
* Substitute skim milk for whole milk or cream when making mashed potatoes and
* Add a sprinkle of freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese to salads instead of
chunks of Cheddar cheese.
* Use low-fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta in vegetable lasagna.
* Eat a bagel instead of fat-laden coffee cakes, muffins, Danish pastry or doughnuts.
Note: One croissant has as much fat as 10 bagels.
* Use fat-free cream cheese on bagels and save 5 grams of fat per tablespoon.
* Spread 1 tablespoon of nonfat jam or jelly on toast or muffins in place of 1 1/2
teaspoons of butter. Do this every day and you could lose as many as 12 1/2 pounds in
* Switch to skim milk. It has 5 fewer grams of fat per glass than 2 percent-fat milk, 9
grams fewer than whole milk.
* Replace regular bacon with Canadian-style bacon and you'll save 1 gram of fat per slice.
* Lighten your coffee with evaporated nonfat milk or skim milk rather than
half-and-half or cream.
*Choose "simple" cereals like corn flakes, Total, Special K or shredded wheat and add
fruit and raisins for flavor. Granolas and nut-filled cereals are often packed with fat.
*Top homemade waffles or pancakes with a sprinkle of cinnamon or confectioners'
sugar instead of pouring on butter and syrup.
* Substitute turkey sausage for pork sausage; ounce for ounce, turkey has half the
amount of fat.
* Spoon low-fat yogurt over fresh fruit and add a handful of Grape Nuts cereal for a
* Undress your sandwiches. Since a tablespoon of butter or mayonnaise has 11 grams of
fat, try mustard or other fat-free spreads instead.
* Stuff sandwiches with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts and other veggies instead
of meat and cheese.
* Try nonfat plain yogurt, fresh herbs and a touch of soy sauce as a substitute for
mayonnaise when making pasta, tuna and chicken salads.
* Use thick bread or bagels to make sandwiches filling without the fat of extra meat or
*Choose reduced-fat cheeses to save up to one third the fat and calories.
* Select grilled chicken sandwiches without dressing instead of burgers with "the works"
at fast-food restaurants. The savings in fat: usually 20 grams.
* Use luncheon meats made from turkey instead of beef or pork.
The Snack Exchange
* Try pretzels instead of potato chips when you crave a salty, crunchy taste.
* Make your own fat-free chips by toasting triangles of pita bread. Or try baked tortilla
chips from Guiltless Gourmet or Baked Tostitos, which have 9 fewer fat grams per
serving than potato chips.
* Snack on nacho-flavored rice cakes rather than tortilla chips and save over 7 grams of
fat per ounce.
* Munch on raw veggies (try celery or broccoli) dipped in salsa instead of cheese and
crackers or cocktail nuts.
* Dip pretzels or chips in fat-free salsa instead of creamy dips to save about 5 grams of fat
per 2 tablespoons.
* Choose fat-free saltines or melba toast rounds over wheat crackers, which can pack up
to 5 grams of fat into just 4 little crackers.
* Always select nonfat yogurts. It's hard to taste the difference.
* Keep low-fat snacks (such as animal crackers or dried fruit) at your desk so you won't
be tempted to dash out for a candy bar.
* Refocus your menus so they don't revolve around meat, fish or poultry.
* Try at least one vegetarian dinner each week. Some meatless recipes for chili and
lasagna are so good your family won't notice the difference. Go easy on the cheese,
* Start dinner with a bowl of broth-based soup, preferably vegetable. Studies show that it
reduces the tendency to overeat during the meal.
* Stay away from buttery rolls and biscuits. Eat a slice of whole-grain bread instead and
eliminate about 5 grams of fat per serving.
* Pass up prebuttered garlic bread. You'll eat 8 fewer grams of fat per slice by substituting
plain Italian bread.
* Or make your own low-fat garlic bread. Spray Italian bread or the rough side of a pita
with nonfat cooking spray (olive oil or butter flavor is best), then sprinkle with garlic
powder and/or dried herbs and pop in a toaster oven until browned.
* Spray skinless chicken and fish with nonfat cooking oil to add flavor and act as an
adhesive for seasonings.
* Top pizza with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes or broccoli instead of meat or extra
* Create your own low-fat pasta sauces with fresh or canned tomatoes, onions,
mushrooms, peppers, herbs and bouillon or wine.
*Substitute tomato sauce for Alfredo sauce on pasta and save a walloping 34 grams of fat
per 1/2 cup.
* Eat sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. The sweet flavor eliminates the need for
* Use ground chicken or turkey in place of beef in meat loaf and burgers.
* Cut meat and poultry into small strips and serve it with rice, pasta and/or vegetables
to reduce the amount of fat in every serving.
* Choose places that do not serve large buffets or multiple courses for a flat fee. The
temptation to overeat to get your money's worth is too great.
* Limit alcohol intake. It adds empty calories, increases appetite and weakens your
resolve to say "no" to all the tempting high-fat foods.
* Start with a green salad to cut your appetite for the rest of the meal.
* Avoid high-fat surprises by asking exactly how food is prepared before you order.
Many restaurants add butter to cooked vegetables and use it to broil chicken and fish.
* Don't assume you'll cut fat by getting salad dressing on the side. Most restaurant
containers hold more dressing than you get on a typical pretossed salad. Use only a
tablespoon's-worth of dressing at most.
* Order a slice of lemon to squeeze flavor onto salads or vegetables instead of using
butter or dressing.
* Take fat-free dressing with you.
* Refrain from ordering a second basket of bread or chips while waiting for your meal to
arrive. Better yet, ask for raw vegetables to munch on- -and remove the butter from the
* Choose a green salad instead of a Caesar salad, which typically contains 500 calories and
40 grams of fat.
*Avoid prepared chicken, seafood, pasta and tuna salads, which are often drenched in
* Stay away from fried and sautAed items; order meat, poultry and fish broiled, poached,
steamed or baked.
* Practice portion control. In restaurants that are known for generous servings, arrange
to share an order or take part of it home with you.
* Always remove the skin from chicken to cut fat by one-half.
* Try low-fat frozen yogurt, fruit sorbet or sherbets as alternatives to fat-laden ice cream.
* Forgo nuts on sundaes and frozen yogurt. A 1/4 cup of nuts can add up to 215 calories
and about 19 grams of fat.
* Skip the candy topping or fudge sauce on frozen desserts and add fresh fruit instead.
* Check out new reduced-fat Oreos and fat-free SnackWell's, Fig Newtons and other
cookies. But read the labels; some low-fat baked goods have more calories than regular
* Craving chocolate? Eat a York Peppermint Patty or a small box of Junior Mints, both of
which have just 4 grams of fat (compared to 9 grams of fat in a typical 1-ounce chocolate
* Satisfy a sweet tooth with low-fat licorice, hard candy, caramels, Gummi Bears,
gumdrops, marshmallows, candy corn, Skittles or jelly beans, all of which usually have
only 0 to 2 grams of fat per ounce.
* Resist fancy gourmet chocolates. The darker the color, the higher the fat.
* Try Mrs. Fields' new low-fat cookies for an occasional splurge.
* Indulge in angel food cake rather than poundcake and save a whopping 9 grams of fat
* For a sweet, fat-free ending to a meal, try Jell-O.
* Satisfy a yearning for apple pie with baked apples or homemade applesauce. You get all
the delicious flavor without any of the fat.
A quick guide to help you use data included in many recipes.
Abbreviations and Exchanges.
cal = calories;
pro = protein;
car = carbohydrates;
chol = cholesterol;
sod = sodium;
g = grams;
mg = milligrams.
Exchanges apply to many weight-management diets and are based on those published
by the American Dietetic Association and American Diabetes Association. Not all
recipes are suitable for diabetics.
Calories. To estimate the number of calories you can eat daily to achieve and
maintain your ideal weight, multiply your ideal weight (be realistic) by 13 if you're
moderately active and by 15 if you're active.
Fat. No more than 30 percent of your total daily calories should come from fat. To
figure out how many grams of fat that allows you, take your daily calorie total, drop the
last digit and divide by 3. Don't worry if you exceed 30 percent now and then.
The key to eating right is how you manage your diet over the course of a few days or a
Sodium and Cholesterol. The Recommended Daily Dietary Allowances (for healthy
adults over 25) are no more than 2,400 mg sodium and no more than 300 mg