Cooking Light – Tips to Cut Fat

kabobs cooking light

Below are some food preparation tips to help you decrease the fat when cooking. Some fat (especially monounsaturated) is good for you, but too much contributes to the development of numerous chronic diseases. Try these simple rules for healthier meals:

Braise, broil, grill, bake, steam, and poach. Avoid frying and other cooking methods that require added fat.

Cooking with a liquid in a covered container; an excellent way to tenderize meats or add flavor to hard vegetables while cooking.

Quick-cooking under direct heat to allow fats to drip away.

Quick-cooking over direct heat to allow fats to drip away; includes outdoor and indoor styles.

Slower cooking in a conventional oven; preferable to use a rack to allow fats to drip away.

Cooking while suspending foods over a small amount of boiling water; minimizes vitamin loss in vegetables.

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Cooking food in simmering water, sometimes using a fat-free flavored broth.

Helpful Hints:

•Trim visible fat from meats and remove skin from poultry before cooking.
•Baste or marinade meats using low-fat broths or wine, tomato sauce or lemon juice; avoid adding butter, margarine, gravies, or other oils/fats.

•When browning meats or stir-frying vegetables, use a non-stick pan; avoid adding fat to the pan (vegetable oil sprays are OK).

•Make stews, soups, and casseroles a day ahead, then refrigerate to allow fat to harden so that it can be removed before serving and eating.

•Use the microwave for reheating leftovers and to cook fish, vegetables, and poultry with minimal fat.

•Use low-fat ingredients whenever possible. For example, nonfat and low-fat yogurt, nonfat or low-fat mayonnaise, fat-free and low-fat cheeses, light and low¬-fat margarine (trans fat-free, of course!).

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