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How to Substitute Fat in Your Everyday Diet
Fat is a nutrient that is a contributor to the increasing problem
of obesity in the world today. The number of fat cells is estimated
to be around 50 billion for the average person. It can be up to 100
billion for the obese person.
Fat cells are like storage tanks of energy to be used for later
use. It has been shown that obese people who binge eat may stimulate
baby fat cells to sprout to increase the number of fat cells they
Fats are found in foods such as butter, margarine, oils, fats,
dripping, nuts and oil seeds. Research conducted indicates that
good fats such as fish oils especially deep sea fish, olive oil,
canola oil, avocado and nuts contain important fatty acids which
if taken by people aged 65 plus reduced the risk of a fatal heart
attack by 44%.
Other names for fats include… Lard, animal shortening, coconut
oil, palm oil, vegetable oil, butterfat, whole milk solids, copra,
tallow, chocolate chips, shortening, margarine, cocoa butter.
Now lets have a look at the different types of fat. There are three
types of fat to found in the diet.
Saturated fats - are found mainly in animal products and do the
most damage and are the most related to the build-up of cholesterol
in the arteries. . Research has indicated that saturated fats in
the diet can increase LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which
is the unwanted cholesterol and should be avoided. The following
foods contain this type of fat:
- Cakes, biscuits and pastries
Monounsaturated fats - Monounsaturated fats help to decrease the
cholesterol and LDL levels in the blood. The following foods contain
this type of fat:
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Peanut Oil
Polyunsaturated fats - Polyunsaturated fats in small quantities
can help to decrease total cholesterol. Examples of polyunsaturated
Fats would include vegetable oil and palm oil.
As pointed out before, consuming fats is the major culprit that
leads to fat being on the human body mainly because fats are high
in calories. I recommended that people eat less than 20% of total
their total calories from fat.
We also know that eating too much fat leads to health problems
and weight-gain, but we do need some healthy fats in our diet. Fats
are a source of soluble vitamins A, D and E.
Fats provide hormone production and skin health and protection of
vital organs and insulation. Too much fat in the diet however, can
increase the risk of a number of lifestyle diseases that are common
in the western world.
• Limit the saturated fats in your diet - which includes
butter, cream, full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, cakes, pastries
and fried foods.
• Choose lean meats where possible and trim visible fat
and skin before cooking select low fat dairy products where possible
• Be aware of the hidden fats in processed foods and foods
high in salt choose liquid fats over solid fats e.g. olive and canola
oil over butter
• Include amounts of unsaturated or ‘good fats’
in your diet. Sources include fish, olive and canola oil, nuts and
• Also try to include the good omega-3 fats daily –
fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are good sources and
try to eat three fish meals a week if you can.
Below is a list of fat substitutions that you can apply in your
everyday diet whether it is at work, home, or dining out.
|Cheese – High fat types…Cheddar and other hard
||Lower fat varieties e.g. Edam, Cottage, Mozzarella,
||Thick cut ‘wedges’ or oven baked chips
||Eat in moderation and buy the best quality. Substitute
jelly babies or other sugar treat
||Reduced fat cream, use low-fat yoghurt or evaporated
||Check label for fat, use clear soups
||Bagels, bread rolls, finger buns
||Low fat custard
||Crumpets, plain scones, raisin loaf
||Reduced fat varieties
|Meat (beef, lamb, pork)
||Lean beef, trim lamb, new pork or other 90%. Fat free
||Check label for fat, buy breakfast bars, power bars
||Reduced fat pies, use filo pastry
|Salad dressings – Mayonnaise, French
||Use vinegar or lemon juice
||Wheat crisp bread
||Plain biscuits wheat meal
||Lower fat varieties (check label for fat)
There are many ways to achieving a reduced fat diet. Here are some
· If you like butter
or margarine on toast, only have it on the last slice you eat.
· If you don’t
feel like a solid breakfast, have a fruit smoothie.
· Mix up your own cereal from two or three types and give
your creation a name.
· If you eat lunch
away from home, plan it the night before. Make sandwiches before
· Try some thick vegetable soup with a fresh bread roll to
· Invest in a cool bag to keep your lunch fresh.
· Try oven-baked potato wedges with a salsa topping.
· Go for fresh pasta with a quick tomato and basil sauce.
· For dessert, have a piece of fresh fruit with a yoghurt
· Salsa dip with pretzels
· Plain fruit loaf
· Vanilla dairy custard.
Before a workout
· Small glass of fruit juice
· Banana and Custard
· Half a slice of toast with jam.
After a workout
· Fruit/canned fruit
· Wheat Bites
· Rice cakes with honey.
· On your desk – bottle of water or glass to use at
the water dispenser.
· In your desk – piece of fruit, small pull-top can
of baked beans/creamed corn/stewed fruit.
· Bring a few ingredients from home to be combined at work.
· Keep some cutlery where you work.
On a Plane
· Order a special meal when you book your ticket. You’ll
usually get served first.
· Ask for an extra roll or two.
At the Hotel
· Take your own favourite cereal and reduced fat milk.
· Ask that the foods be removed from the snack bar. Eat your
own low fat nibbles.
· Burger Bar – Plain grilled burger, skim milk milkshake.
· Pizza Parlour – Gourmet pizza with lots of veggies,
go easy on the cheese.
· Kebab House – A little meat with a lot of salad.
· Sandwich Bar – Salad sandwiches/Rolls.
· Club – A little meat, heaps of mashed/jacked potato
and veggies, pasta/rice.
· Indian – Lots of boiled rice, tikka, plain naan,
dahl soup, raita.
· Chinese – Lots of boiled rice, chop suey, steamed
dishes, plain noodles.
· Italian – Tomato-based dishes, plain bread.
Suggestions in General
• Record your food intake to identify problem areas. (Eg.
Emotional eating, unwanted hunger craves, over-eating)
• Pay specific attention to the times when you over eat.
• Try to avoid severe food restriction (like fasting, low
• When measuring your progress, monitor body fat levels,
not weight throw the scale out.
• Aim for moderate fat loss (one pound / week)