With serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes on the rise, we all need to make an effort to eat well.
The government says the average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day and the average woman should eat no more than 20g.
It’s not always easy though – temptation, of course, is everywhere. It’s difficult for the most disciplined of us to completely avoid biscuits, cakes, crisps and chocolates.
Lots of experts emphasise the 80/20 rule, suggesting that by watching what you eat 80% of the time you can enjoy treats for 20%. When looking at the food you consume 80% of the time, you may be surprised at how much fat it contains. By making some basic changes to your everyday food intake and eating routine, it’s possible to improve your diet without feeling like you’re missing out. And that means you can truly enjoy your occasional treats.
Here are 10 really easy ways to use less fat when cooking:
1. Avoid frying food and instead steam, boil, poach or grill your meals. When you do fry food, drain excess oil with clean kitchen roll.
2. Try to eat more food which doesn’t require cooking, look for recipes which use raw vegetables and salad (but go easy on the dressing!)
3. Choose oils which are high in unsaturated fat, such as olive and rapeseed. Heart UK advises that when cooking vegetables which soak up lots of oil try adding a small amount of water instead of extra oil.
4. Don’t use the meat juices when you make gravy.
5. When making meals with cheese, Diabetes UK recommends buying stronger flavoured varieties so that you can use less without missing out on the taste.
6. Use lean meat and trim off any visible fat before cooking.
7. Use crème fraiche or yogurt instead of cream.
8. In recipes which require butter, switch instead to a low fat spread.
9. The NHS advises that you use less meat and more veg and pulses when making casseroles.
10. Check the labels on the food you buy and especially compare packs of meats such as sausages and bacon to ensure you go for the lowest fat options.