There seems to be a crazy obsession with fat or the total elimination thereof in this country. The fact that fat can be difficult to get rid of once it has taken hold of our bodies is probably what makes it so fascinating. Hence, the national mania of getting it out of our system.
According to most experts, one of the more effective ways to battle fat is through a low fat diet. Low fat diet, by definition, does not mean a no-fat diet. It’s a diet with little saturated fat and cholesterol. Most recommendations allocate no more than 30% of one’s diet to fats.
Low fat diets provide many benefits. It lowers bad cholesterol levels and prevents certain cancers. They lead to better weight loss and contribute to the maintenance of a healthy weight. Low fat diets help people with certain medical conditions. For example, a low-fat diet prevents complications in people with gallbladder disease. Those who suffer from delayed stomach emptying (gastroparesis), diarrhea, and fatty liver benefit from a low fat diet because fat aggravates the condition.
Unfortunately, the average American diet high is so high in fat that estimates put 55 per cent of American adults and 15-20 per cent of American children to be overweight. Of this number, quite a number are seriously overweight or obese. The reason for this simply lies in the fact that we eat too much fat. Butter and mayonnaise, which are both 80% fat are usual staples of our diet. Add this to our addiction to fast food meals and you understand how these figures become possible. Greasy fare is a common offer among fast food restaurants and unless this seeming fascination for eating out gets curbed, fat will always be a problem.
If you’re serious about winning the battle against fat, you’ve got to start eating a low fat diet. Start by steaming, baking and broiling your meat and fish instead of frying them. Any visible fat must be removed from these before you start diving into them. Limit your intake of milk and milk products to 2 cups daily and choose from skimmed milk, evaporated skimmed, milk, non fat sour cream, yogurt and fat-free cheeses. Four or more servings of grains from whole grains and cereal, enriched bread, plain pasta, barley and rice cakes can be consumed everyday. But donuts, sweet rolls, pancakes, potato chips and granola type cereals must be avoided. Don’t fry your veggies or dip them in creams or sauces. But have three or more servings of steamed, raw or boiled veggies everyday.
Avoid high fat dairy products and cream soups containing added oils or fats. Limit yourself to three servings daily of fats and oils. For example, you may have any three of these in a day: 6 almonds, 2 whole walnuts and 18 whole pistachios, a teaspoon of margarine, a teaspoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of a salad dressing. And where fruits and desserts, you can feast on meringues, non fat yogurt, jams and marmalades depending on your caloric needs but avoid ice cream, cream puffs and sweet pastries at all costs.