10 top tips for low fat cooking

turkey-hen-569069_1280We often talk about the importance of low- fat cooking in our weight management sessions. If you are on a low fat diet, or are just trying to reduce the amount of harmful fats you are eating regularly, you need to be selecting lower fat foods, but then also making sure you are preparing, cooking and serving that food in a low fat way too. So here are my top 10 top tips for low-fat cooking

  1. Not all cuts of meat are created equal, particularly where low fat cooking are concerned. So make sure you are choosing meat that is relatively lean. Chicken and turkey meat tends to be very low in fat – choose the white meat (the dark leg meat is higher in fat) and make sure you take off the skin where most of the fat is stored. If you are choosing beef, select cuts like chuck, sirloin or tenderloin. With pork choose tenderloin or loin chops.
  2. When selecting your meat choose those with the least amount of visible fat. If the meat is marbled it has fat running through it.
  3. Once you have got your meat, make sure you rim off any visible, solid fat, including the skin. When roasting a whole chicken or turkey, leave the skin on during cooking, but remove it and the fat underneath before eating. Also, remove any visible fat from pork and beef after cooking.
  4. If you want to use minced meat, check the labels to see how much fat are in different packs – choose those with the lowest percentage.  Always choose lean or extra lean you could even mix it with Quorn mince to make it even lower in fat.
  5. Be careful of minced poultry. Often the skin and dark meat has been included so it will be higher in fat than a skinless breast fillet. Select those which say it’s minced breast meat.
  6. Once you selected and prepared your meat, consider using a low-fat marinades. They can improve the flavour and keep the mean nice and moist. Choose low-fat marinades, such as mixtures of herbs or spices with wine, soy sauce, cider vinegar or lemon juice.
  7. When you cook the meat, choose a low fat method where you don’t have to add extra fat, such as grilling, roasting, poaching or baking. It’s often a good idea to put your meat on a rack over a tray so that it doesn’t sit in the dripping fat. Also if you do need to fry, try using a little low fat spray.
  8. Cook your casserole type dishes (like curries, bolognaise, stews and soups) in advance and allow them cool. Not only does this improve the flavour but the fat will rise to the top and solidify so you can easily scrape it off before reheating thoroughly.
  9. If you are browning your meat, such as mince, drain the fat from the pan and wipe the pan with a paper towel to get rid of excess fat. You can even pat your meat with a paper towel too.
  10. Finally as you serve up, consider reducing your portion size – having less of the meat means you eat less of the fat!