Healthy and low fat cooking

We need a certain amount of fat in our diet.

However, there is real concern about the links between excessive consumption and obesity or heart disease.

Simple tips for healthy and low fat cooking

Modern nutrition makes stress on preparing healthy, low-fat meals. Fortunately for modern cooks, there are simple ways to reduce the fat content of most dishes or to substitute cooking fat with a healthier kind. Here are a few general tips on healthy cooking and for adapting the recipes to a low fat diet while keeping the flavor. No need to worry, the low-fat recipes will taste delicious.

Butter in cooking

If the butter is needed to sauté the ingredients, substituting butter with oil lowers the amount of saturated fat right away. Margarine is a common substitution for butter in baking. Consider the recipe before making this substitution. Margarine changes the taste and consistency of the food and butter tastes better, especially for a dessert. For instance, using margarine may make a cake too soft but butter tends to spoil earlier than margarine, so use butter on a cake you'll eat on the day and use margarine for one you'll decorate the next day or you intend to keep for a few days after decorating - margarine will keep the cake moist for longer. Butter or oil is a better option than margarine if you are working with phyllo dough.

Cheese

Cheese is profusely used in cooking and a common source of surplus fat. Many cheeses types have a reduced or nonfat version; just remember these low fat varieties won't melt as well as the full fat ones. Using less cheese than the recipe calls for is another easy way to reduce the amount of fat from and not to lose flavor, you might try using a stronger-tasting cheese.

Lean meat

Using another type of meat with less fat is an option. Some cooks like to use ground turkey in place of ground beef with ground turkey to reduce fat, especially saturated fat. There is a noticeable change in flavor so you might want to experiment to find when a substitution works or it does not. Pay attention when buying meat, as in some cuts you will find regular meat, lean and extra-lean. Getting extra-lean ground beef is another easy way to reduce fat.

From higher fat content in meat to lower the order is lamb > pork > beef > turkey = chicken

Low fat frying

Some recipes call for large amounts of oil and you can reduce the amount of oil a little with no harm to the flavor. Substituting oil with a low-fat or nonfat cooking spray for oil is a second option, although you may need a non-stick frying pan if you go down this road. Salt brings out the natural juices in food, so sprinkling a little salt on vegetables, for instance, before cooking helps to reduce the amount of oil needed to cook them.

A dessert with less sugar but still sweet

All of us like a sweet, but some like it sweeter than others. A way to make your desserts healthier is to reduce their sugar content. Train your taste buds and teach them to appreciate slightly less sweet things. Experiment by taking out more and more sugar each time you make a recipe. You'll be surprised to find out that desserts can have less sugar and still taste great and how far you can go before reaching the point where taking out any more sugar renders the recipe flavorless.

Reaching a healthy conclusion

There is more than one way to prepare meals that are good for you and still taste great. Practice makes perfect and, as you become a more knowledgeable cook, experimenting will lead to innovation. As you become more proficient, making an educated guess about the results will be easier. Try then experimenting with recipes and substitutions to find the methods that work best for you.