Change Traditional Recipes To Low Fat

Change conventional recipes to low fat by substituting ingredients and adding fat-burners.

Because scientific studies show a definite link between fat and many illnesses - including cancer, stroke, and heart disease - many people are switching to low-fat diets. Cookbooks abound that offer low-fat appetizers, super salads, and main course fat-free entrees. And many of these recipes are quite tasty! "Low-fat cooking isn't so bad after all," you say.

But what about all those old standby favorites from your grandmother? You know - the ones you grew up associating with Christmas dinner or your special birthday meal? Chances are, they were the recipes with the stick of butter and the cup of sour cream. Is there a way to convert them to low-fat?

Actually, there are two approaches to lowering fat. The first is obvious - cut the number of fat grams. The second is to introduce ingredients to the recipes that are fat-burners. The real coup d'etat, of course, is to combine both strategies. This means that the most effective way to change traditional recipes to low-fat is to lower the fat content and also add fat-burning ingredients.

Lower the Fat Content

1. Read labels on food products. Look for low-fat or no-fat sour cream, for example. Watch closely to discern the difference between fat-free, low-fat, and reduced fat. While fat-free and low-fat are regulated and cannot contain more than a specified amount of fat per serving, reduced fat only means that the fat content of that product may be lower than some other brand. Avoid products that use the words "partially hydrogenated" or "trans fats." Look for margarines that lower cholesterol. They are made in both soft form and sticks for cooking.

2. Substitute low-fat versions of mainstream ingredients. For example, in a recipe that calls for one cup of milk, try substituting one cup of no-fat dry milk. Many people might cringe at the thought of drinking powdered milk, but in a casserole, there is little difference in the taste. Use olive, sunflower, or canola oils instead of traditional animal or vegetable oils. Make casseroles with low-fat cream soups and low-fat cheeses.

Add Fat-burning Ingredients

1. There are foods that take the body longer to metabolize. In other words, the body literally works harder to break these foods down and therefore burns more fat calories. These are appropriately called fat-burning foods. When they are introduced to recipes, the result is to lower the overall fat calories that are absorbed by the body. Examples are celery, strawberry, oats, wheat, apple, broccoli, spinach, and tomato. To make a recipe low-fat, consider adding fat-burning ingredients. For example, chop up celery in your favorite casserole or add a layer of spinach in the meatloaf before you roll it into the pan. Add peas to the tuna casserole and beans to your chili or soup. Beans are great fat-burners. Peppers and mustard are two ingredients that speed up metabolism in digestion. In fact, the effect is a 20-25% increase in metabolism for several hours after consumption.

2. Add fiber to recipes. It's long been a known fact that cholesterol attaches to fiber and is expelled from the body before it has the opportunity to be absorbed into the blood stream. When converting recipes, remember to make choices that increase fiber. A good rule of thumb is to choose "brown" over "white." For example, choose wheat flour over white when baking. The body changes refined white flour to a substance that the body treats much like it does sugar. Instead, choose flour, cracker, and bread products that have the word "whole" on their label - whole grain or whole wheat. Substitute brown rice for white rice.

You've converted the recipe - now cook it.

Lastly, give some thought to the preparation of the recipe. Steam vegetables whenever possible. Remove skin from chicken before cooking it. Avoid heavy gravies or cream soups, using broths, tomato sauces, or lemon juices whenever possible. Boil pork or beef the night before you intend to cook it, placing it in the refrigerator overnight. The grease will rise to the top and you can remove it before using the meat in your recipe the next day.

So, don't throw out those time-honored family recipes! Transform them into low-fat dishes and enjoy the memories.

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