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The Low Down on Low Fat

A common weight loss tactic is eating a low fat diet (not talking to you, ketogenic dieters!).

We’re not saying that fat is bad for you. In fact, fat is a crucial macronutrient, but when you start tracking your fat intake you learn a lot:

  • Fat packs a calorie punch
  • Fat intake adds up quickly
  • You consume a lot more fat than you thought you did
  • You consume way more fat than you need

Fat is a very potent macronutrient with many healthy benefits. A little goes a long way. The fact is, compared to protein and carbs, your body only needs so much fat to be able to perform its important functions.

The way cuisines have developed in society makes it easy to go overboard with eating fat. Lowering your fat intake is tricky in the beginning but with some practice it becomes second nature.

Here are some tricks to help you stick to foods lower in fat:

Eat Plenty Of

  • Fruits and Vegetables are either low in fat or have no fat content at all. Eat them all!

  • Lean Meats such as chicken, turkey, pork, eggs, seafood and game meat are typically low in fat and make the ideal choice for protein.

‘Processed food’ doesn’t always mean ‘bad’ food. For some food, processing is just the act of removing or skimming fat.

  • Low Fat/No Fat Dairy like yogurt, cheese and milk can be skimmed of their fat with minimal processing and no added preservatives. If you read the ingredient labels you’ll find the low fat value comes from the skimming process and not additives.

  • Some Deli Meat is ridded of its fat and then cured. Read the nutrition and ingredient labels to be aware of all the additives. Enjoy rare roast beef or ham on your sandwiches and salads!

  • Pickles add intense flavor to dishes without the fat intake.

Go Easy With

Low fat alternatives to our favorite fatty foods are a lifesaver when it comes to diet compliance. They allow us to indulge without derailing progress. That is totally fine, just be aware that to reach their low fat form some are heavily processed.

Additives are used to create the thick, creamy consistency you’re expecting from their full fat version. Colors and flavors may be added to make them look and taste like their full fat versions.

  • Low Fat Dairy can have additives such as sugars and thickeners and should be eaten sparingly. Read the labels of your low fat cream cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc. and stay aware of what you're eating. Try to find dairy options with the least additives.

  • Lean Meat/Deli Meat can have additives pumped into them. Read the labels and check that your meat is 100% animal, herbs, spices and/or salt.

  • Low fat cookies, candy and treats - junk food is junk food and low fat or not, these items should be eaten sparingly and in conjunction with a nutritional meal.

  • Low fat sauces, dressings and marinades can be often packed with additives. Add them to your meals to give some flavor but don’t rely heavily on them. Making your own at home using vinegar, fruit juice, honey, mustard and yogurt (to name a few) is a great alternative to most store bought options.

Good nutrition is based around quality vegetables, fruits and meats. Accompanying these staples with the occasional side of low fat cream cheese, ice cream or chocolate is absolutely fine. It’s all about finding a balance that works for your lifestyle — and your goals.

We’re always adding delicious low fat recipes to our blog. Some of our favorite recipes that are naturally low in fat are:

Easy Cauliflower Salad
Paleo Beef Stroganoff
Spicy Pineapple Coconut Chicken - recently recommended by Brooke Ence!
Mixed Berry Oatmeal Bake
Maple Carrots and Cauliflower Mash from our 8 Days of Thanksgiving Series
Turkey Sliders
Protein Waffles