"Remember, fat is an essential nutrient for your body, so be sure to include it in your daily diet choices."
-my nutritionist from my diabetes days
Including fat in my diet has never been my problem. I love fat. And when you pair it with sugar you have found taste bud heaven. However while your taste buds are basking in their heaven, your health suffers in hellish ways. This is a fact I have chosen to ignore long enough that my body isn't handling it too well. My latest blood screen I had them check my cholesterol and it proved to be high. The doctor advised me to eat oatmeal for breakfast and eat low fat. In 3 months we'll evaluate my cholesterol again. Well, if I can avoid medication and poor health by eating better, I'm going to give it a go!
For the past 2 years I've had to say goodbye to desserts and other highly sweetened foods whether they be sweetened naturally or artificially, as per my cardiologist's orders (darn that POTS and ventricular tachycardia!). My past pregnancies I had gestational diabetes and I had to count my carbs and proteins and fats, keep a food diary and prick my fingers before and after meals. I'm no newbie when it comes to dieting for my health. The good news is I know how to do a low fat diet. It's all about sticking to a realistic fat budget each day. The bad news is I hate oatmeal (unless it's in a cookie).
So, we all know fat is flavor, whether it be butter, extra virgin olive oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, chips, deep fried foods, cheese, avocados or olives (just to name some of my favorites). When you have to limit the fat, you risk losing flavor. And a flavorless meal is a sad meal. Makes you wanna cry doesn't it? So, I've learned some tricks to lower fat, yet retain flavor. Here's a few tips I used for dinner last night that you must try sometime...
- When making mashed potatoes, replace the butter and milk with chicken or beef broth to smooth out the potatoes, then SEASON, SEASON, SEASON! I used a good portion of McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning in my potatoes last night and they were divine. If you're watching your salt, use a lot of herbs or a salt free seasoning blend.
- For roasted chicken, use chicken thighs instead of breasts. I know you're skeptical about this one, but hear me out. Chicken breasts are huge these days and actually pack more calories because of their size than do their brothers, the thighs. Chicken breasts also tend to dry out when cooking, thus making you want some sort of gravy or fatty sauce to plunge them into. Thighs are actually the perfect portion for meat and they retain their moisture when cooked.
- Another tip for roasted chicken, remove the skin but keep the bones in. Bones equal flavor! Also don't forget to season your meat.
- P.S. I have started a low-fat blog to document my efforts at eatlowfatfood.blogspot.com